High ambient temperature impacts feed intake, growth, and nutrient utilization in pigs. However, little is known on its effects on immune function and, therefore, on how or if it could modulate the utilization of nutrients in pigs exposed to an inflammatory challenge. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of high ambient temperature on energy and nitrogen utilization in pigs submitted to repeated injections of Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Twenty-eight catheterized and pair-housed female pigs (55 kg BW) were assigned to 1 of the 2 thermal conditions: thermoneutrality (TN, 24°C) or high ambient temperature (HT, 30°C). Within each condition, pigs had a 2-wk adaptation period in climatic-controlled rooms and then were transferred to open-circuit respiration chambers. Pigs remained in respiration chambers for a period of 18 d, which was divided into a 7-d period without LPS (baseline) and a subsequent 11-d period with LPS administration (LPSperiod).
The interaction between ambient temperature and period was not significant for most of the traits studied. At baseline, pigs kept at HT had lower ADFI (1,500 vs. 2,003 g/d; P < 0.01) and ADG (449 vs. 684 g/d; P = 0.01) and similar nutrient digestibility compared with those kept at TN. Pigs kept at HT also consumed less ME (1,651 vs. 2,170 kJ·kg BW-0.60·d−1; P = 0.01) and produced less heat (1,146 vs. 1,365 kJ·kg BW-0.60·d−1; P < 0.01) than those kept at TN. Furthermore, HT pigs retained less protein and fat than TN pigs (−61 and −57 g/d, respectively; P < 0.01 and P = 0.01). The LPS challenge reduced (P < 0.01) nitrogen (−13.7 and −7.4 g/d) and ME intake (−594 and −335 kJ·kg BW-0.60·d−1) in TN and HT conditions, respectively; fecal digestibility of nutrients was not affected by LPS. During the LPSperiod, total heat production (HP) was decreased (P < 0.01) in both TN and HT groups (−190 and −104 kJ·kg BW-0.60·d−1, respectively), in connection with the lower short-term thermic effect of feeding (P = 0.01) and resting HP (P < 0.01). In addition, the LPS induced a reduction in protein (P < 0.01) and fat deposition (P = 0.01) in pigs kept at TN (−79 and −73 g/d, respectively) and at HT (−41 and −44 g/d, respectively).
In conclusion, our study confirms that high temperature reduces feed intake, growth performance, and HP. Moreover, our results evidence that irrespective of thermal condition, an inflammatory LPS challenge affects energy utilization through changes in ME intake and maintenance requirements.
P. H. R. F. Campos, E. Labussière, J. Hernández-García, S. Dubois, D. Renaudeau, and J. Noblet. Effects of ambient temperature on energy and nitrogen utilization in lipopolysaccharide-challenged growing pigs. J ANIM SCI November 2014 92:4909-4920; doi:10.2527/jas.2014-8108