Dietary-dependent changes in the enteric nervous system and endothelium of premature piglets
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Veterinary Sciences
Livestock science. - Amsterdam, 2006, currens
, p. 23-25
University of Antwerp
After birth, intestinal morphology and function have to adapt at a high pace. This remodelling is more challenging in low birth weight neonates or in preterms, where it may result in necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). We hypothesized that in the preterm piglet, feeding induces maladaptations of the enteric nervous system (ENS) and vasculature. Using image analysis, the densities of neurons expressing VIP, glial cells containing GFAP and the endothelium containing eNOS on immunohistochemically stained small intestinal sections of preterm 1) unfed piglets, 2) piglets receiving total parenteral nutrition (TPN) for 23 days and 3) piglets fed 2 days sow's colostrum (SOW) or formulated milk (FOR) following TPN were estimated. After enteral feeding, the ENS and vascular endothelium grew in the same order as the intestine. However, feeding formula increased the density of VIP'ergic myenteric neurons, lowered eNOS in the endothelium and resulted in a reactive gliosis. In conclusion, formula induces destructive changes in the immature small intestine, whereas colostrum prevents their occurrence. These conditions may be among the factors that predispose to NEC.