Supplementing formula-fed piglets with a low molecular weight fraction of bovine colostrum whey results in an improved intestinal barrier
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Veterinary Sciences
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Journal of animal science. - Champaign, Ill., 1942, currens
, p. 3491-3501
University of Antwerp
To test the hypothesis that a low molecular weight fraction of colostral whey could affect the morphology and barrier function of the small intestine, 30 3-d-old piglets (normal or low birth weight) were suckled (n = 5), artificially fed with milk formula (n = 5), or artificially fed with milk formula with a low molecular weight fraction of colostral whey (n = 5) until 10 d of age. The small intestine was sampled for histology (haematoxylin and eosin stain; anti-KI67 immunohistochemistry) and enzyme activities (aminopeptidase A, aminopeptidase N, dipeptidylpeptidase IV, lactase, maltase, and sucrase). In addition, intestinal permeability was evaluated via a dual sugar absorption test and via the measurement of occludin abundance. Artificially feeding of piglets reduced final BW (P < 0.001), villus height (P < 0.001), lactase (P < 0.001), and dipeptidylpeptidase IV activities (P < 0.07), whereas crypt depth (P < 0.001) was increased. No difference was observed with regard to the permeability measurements when comparing artificially fed with naturally suckling piglets. Supplementing piglets with the colostral whey fraction did not affect BW, enzyme activities, or the outcome of the dual sugar absorption test. On the contrary, the small intestines of supplemented piglets had even shorter villi (P = 0.001) than unsupplemented piglets and contained more occludin (P = 0.002). In conclusion, at 10 d of age, no differences regarding intestinal morphology and permeability measurements were observed between the 2 BW categories. In both weight categories, the colostral whey fraction affected the morphology of the small intestine but did not improve the growth performances or the in vivo permeability. These findings should be acknowledged when developing formulated milk for neonatal animals with the aim of improving the performance of low birth weight piglets.