Oral administration recombinant porcine epidermal growth factor enhances the jejunal digestive enzyme genes expression and activity of early-weaned piglets

Epidermal growth factor supplementation of piglet diets may stimulate intestinal piglet development and maturation at weaning
Wednesday 12 August 2009 (9 years 7 months 6 days ago)
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been identified in the milk of several mammal species such as rats, humans and swine. Epidermal growth factor has topic effects in the gastrointestinal tract including enhanced proliferation and differentiation of epithelial cells and consequently stimulated enzyme production and increased the integrity of villous. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of ingested recombinant pEGF on the gastrointestinal tract mucosal development and enzyme production of early weaned piglets.

Thirty-two piglets from four litters (Landrace x Duroc) weaned at 14 days old were randomly allotted to four groups containing 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 mg pEGF/kg diet. The basal diet was mixed with 0%, 0.67%, 1.34%, or 2% yeast cultures with enriched recombinant pEGF substituted for the untransformed yeast cultures. Each treatment consisted of four replicates with two pigs per pen for a 14 days experimental period. Piglets were sacrificed and gastrointestinal tract samples were collected to measure mucosa morphology, mRNA expression and activities of digestive enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract of piglets at the end of the experiment. Pig's body weight and feed intake were weekly determined to evaluate the average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain/feed (G/F).

Diets supplemented with pEGF failed to influence growth performance but tended to increase jejunal mucosa weight (P<0.09) and protein content (P<0.07). Piglets supplemental pEGF induced incrementally the gastric pepsin activity (P<0.05) and stimulated jejunal alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and lactase activities accompanied with the increase of jejunal ALP and maltase mRNA expression. No effect of pEGF on the activities of all enzymes in ileum except the stimulation of ileal aminopeptide N mRNA expression.

These results reveal that dietary pEGF supplementation might enhance gene expression and activities of digestive enzymes in the stomach and jejunum of piglets.

DN Lee, YS Chuang, HY Chiou, FY Wu, HT Yen and CF Weng. 2008 Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 92: 463-470

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