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Developing alternatives to antibiotics is an urgent need in livestock production. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are regarded as powerful antibiotic substitutes (ASs) because AMPs have broad-spectrum antimicrobial activities and growth-promoting ability. Here, we aimed to comprehensively assess the effects of AMPs on the growth performance, diarrhea rate, intestinal morphology and immunity of healthy or challenged piglets, compared with an antibiotics group or negative control group. We performed a set of meta-analyses of feeding trials from database inception to 27 May 2019. Among the 1379 identified studies, 20 were included in our meta-analyses (56 arms and 4067 piglets). The meta-analyses revealed that (1) compared with the negative control group, AMPs significantly improved the healthy piglets’ average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI), gain : feed ratio (G/F), levels of immune globulin (Ig) IgM and IgG, and intestinal villus height : crypt depth ratio (V/C) (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, AMPs significantly increased the challenged piglets’ ADG, ADFI, G/F and V/C of the jejunum and ileum, and notably deceased the diarrhea rate (P < 0.05); (2) compared with antibiotics group, the effects of AMPs were slightly weaker than those of antibiotics in the healthy piglets, but AMPs have similar effects to those of antibiotics in challenged piglets. In a higher purity, the optimal dose of AMPs may be approximately 0.01%. Our findings indicate that AMPs can improve piglet growth performance, enhance immunity, benefit intestinal morphology and decrease the diarrheal rate. AMPs could be great ASs especially under infection conditions.
Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
To describe the laboratory findings of cases of death with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and to establish a scoring system for predicting death, we conducted this single-centre, retrospective, observational study including 336 adult patients (≥18 years old) with severe or critically ill COVID-19 admitted in two wards of Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, who had definite outcomes (death or discharge) between 1 February 2020 and 13 March 2020. Single variable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to identify mortality-related factors. We combined multiple factors to predict mortality, which was validated by receiver operating characteristic curves. As a result, in a total of 336 patients, 34 (10.1%) patients died during hospitalisation. Through multivariable logistic regression, we found that decreased lymphocyte ratio (Lymr, %) (odds ratio, OR 0.574, P < 0.001), elevated blood urea nitrogen (BUN) (OR 1.513, P = 0.009), and raised D-dimer (DD) (OR 1.334, P = 0.002) at admission were closely related to death. The combined prediction model was developed by these factors with a sensitivity of 100.0% and specificity of 97.2%. In conclusion, decreased Lymr, elevated BUN, and raised DD were found to be in association with death outcomes in critically ill patients with COVID-19. A scoring system was developed to predict the clinical outcome of these patients.
Guanidinoacetic acid (GAA) can improve the growth performance of bulls. This study investigated the influences of GAA addition on growth, nutrient digestion, ruminal fermentation and serum metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were randomly allocated to experimental treatments, that is, control, low-GAA (LGAA), medium-GAA (MGAA) and high-GAA (HGAA), with GAA supplementation at 0, 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 g/kg DM, respectively. Bulls were fed a basal diet containing 500 g/kg DM concentrate and 500 g/kg DM roughage. The experimental period was 104 days, with 14 days for adaptation and 90 days for data collection. Bulls in the MGAA and HGAA groups had higher DM intake and average daily gain than bulls in the LGAA and control groups. The feed conversion ratio was lowest in MGAA and highest in the control. Bulls receiving 0.9 g/kg DM GAA addition had higher digestibility of DM, organic matter, NDF and ADF than bulls in other groups. The digestibility of CP was higher for HGAA than for LGAA and control. The ruminal pH was lower for MGAA, and the total volatile fatty acid concentration was greater for MGAA and HGAA than for the control. The acetate proportion and acetate-to-propionate ratio were lower for MGAA than for LGAA and control. The propionate proportion was higher for MGAA than for control. Bulls receiving GAA addition showed decreased ruminal ammonia N. Bulls in MGAA and HGAA had higher cellobiase, pectinase and protease activities and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Prevotella ruminicola and Ruminobacter amylophilus populations than bulls in LGAA and control. However, the total protozoan population was lower for MGAA and HGAA than for LGAA and control. The total bacterial and Ruminococcus flavefaciens populations increased with GAA addition. The blood level of creatine was higher for HGAA, and the activity of l-arginine glycine amidine transferase was lower for MGAA and HGAA, than for control. The blood activity of guanidine acetate N-methyltransferase and the level of folate decreased in the GAA addition groups. The results indicated that dietary addition of 0.6 or 0.9 g/kg DM GAA improved growth performance, nutrient digestion and ruminal fermentation in bulls.
Soybean meal is rich in soybean isoflavones, which exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticancer functions in humans and animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of soybean isoflavones on the growth performance, intestinal morphology and antioxidative properties in pigs. A total of 72 weaned piglets (7.45 ± 0.13 kg; 36 males and 36 females) were allocated into three treatments and fed corn-soybean meal (C-SBM), corn-soy protein concentrate (C-SPC) or C-SPC supplemented with equal levels of the isoflavones found in the C-SBM diet (C-SPC + ISF) for a 72-day trial. Each treatment had six replicates and four piglets per replicate, half male and half female. On day 42, one male pig from each replicate was selected and euthanized to collect intestinal samples. The results showed that compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had higher BW on day 72 (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM diet had significantly higher average daily gain (ADG) during days 14 to 28 (P < 0.05), with C-SPC + ISF being intermediate; pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P = 0.063), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly higher ADG during days 42 to 72 (P < 0.05). Moreover, compared to pigs fed the C-SPC diet, pigs fed the C-SBM diet tended to have greater villus height (P = 0.092), while pigs fed the C-SPC + ISF diet had significantly greater villus height (P < 0.05); pigs fed the C-SBM and C-SPC + ISF diets had significantly increased villus height-to-crypt depth ratio (P < 0.05). Compared with the C-SPC diet, dietary C-SPC + ISF tended to increase plasma superoxide dismutase activity on days 28 (P = 0.085) and 42 (P = 0.075) and reduce plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) content on day 42 (P = 0.089), as well as significantly decreased jejunal mucosa MDA content on day 42 (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in the expression of tight junction genes among the three groups was found (P > 0.05). In conclusion, our results suggest that a long-term exposure to soybean isoflavones enhances the growth performance, protects the intestinal morphology and improves the antioxidative properties in pigs.
The meat quality of chicken is an important factor affecting the consumer’s health. It was hypothesized that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) could be effectively deposited in chicken, by incorporating antioxidation of soybean isoflavone (SI), which led to improved quality of chicken meat for good health of human beings. Effects of partial or complete dietary substitution of lard (LA) with linseed oil (LO), with or without SI on growth performance, biochemical indicators, meat quality, fatty acid profiles, lipid-related health indicators and gene expression of breast muscle were examined in chickens. A total of 900 males were fed a corn–soybean meal diet supplemented with 4% LA, 2% LA + 2% LO and 4% LO and the latter two including 30 mg SI/kg (2% LA + 2% LO + SI and 4% LO + SI) from 29 to 66 days of age; each of the five dietary treatments included six replicates of 30 birds. Compared with the 4% LA diet, dietary 4% LO significantly increased the feed efficiency and had no negative effect on objective indices related to meat quality; LO significantly decreased plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol (TCH); abdominal fat percentage was significantly decreased in birds fed the 4% LO and 4% LO + SI diets. Chickens with LO diets resulted in higher contents of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3), EPA (C20:5n-3) and total n-3 PUFA, together with a lower content of palmitic acid (C16:0), lignoceric acid (C24:0), saturated fatty acids and n-6:n-3 ratio in breast muscle compared to 4% LA diet (P < 0.05); they also significantly decreased atherogenic index, thrombogenic index and increased the hypocholesterolemic to hypercholesterolemic ratio. Adding SI to the LO diets enhanced the contents of EPA and DHA (C22:6n-3), plasma total superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione and muscle GSH content, while decreased plasma total triglyceride and TCH and malondialdehyde content in plasma and breast muscle compared to its absence (P < 0.05). Expression in breast muscle of fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), FADS2, elongase 2 (ELOVL2) and ELOVL5 genes were significantly higher with the LO diets including SI than with the 4% LA diet. Significant interactions existed between LO level and inclusion of SI on EPA and TCH contents. These findings indicate that diet supplemented with LO combined with SI is an effective alternative when optimizing the nutritional value of chicken meat for human consumers.
Porphyromonas gingivalis has been linked to the development and progression of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), and is considered to be a high-risk factor for ESCC. Currently, the commonly used methods for P. gingivalis detection are culture or DNA extraction-based, which are either time and labour intensive especially for high-throughput applications. We aimed to establish and evaluate a rapid and sensitive direct quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) protocol for the detection of P. gingivalis without DNA extraction which is suitable for large-scale epidemiological studies. Paired gingival swab samples from 192 subjects undergoing general medical examinations were analysed using two direct and one extraction-based qPCR assays for P. gingivalis. Tris-EDTA buffer-based direct qPCR (TE-direct qPCR), lysis-based direct qPCR (lysis-direct qPCR) and DNA extraction-based qPCR (kit-qPCR) were used, respectively, in 192, 132 and 60 of these samples for quantification of P. gingivalis. The sensitivity and specificity of TE-direct qPCR was 95.24% and 100% compared with lysis-direct qPCR, which was 100% and 97.30% when compared with kit-qPCR; TE-direct qPCR had an almost perfect agreement with lysis-direct qPCR (κ = 0.954) and kit-qPCR (κ = 0.965). Moreover, the assay time used for TE-direct qPCR was 1.5 h. In conclusion, the TE-direct qPCR assay is a simple and efficient method for the quantification of oral P. gingivalis and showed high sensitivity and specificity compared with routine qPCR.
Increasing evidence supports that 5HTTLPR polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene(5HTTLPR) might associate to bipolar disorder and affective temperaments as measured by TEMPS-A. But the results are discrepant, furthermore, there are no data from Chinese population.
The present study was designed to investigate association between 5HTTLPR and bipolar disorder and affective temperaments of patients with bipolar disorder in the specific Chinese population and add new evidence to the field.
There hundred and five patients with bipolar disorder and 272 normal controls were included in the present case-control study⌧Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego -autoquestionnaire version (TEMPS-A) in Chinese was used to assess affective temperament. Chi-square test, T test, Nonparametric test and ANOVA were employed to explore association between 5HTTLPR polymorphism and bipolar disorder and affective temperament of patients with bipolar disorder.
5-HTTLPR L/S polymorphism was associated with bipolar disorder in female (genotype χ2 = 6.769⌧P = 0.034⌧allele χ2 = 6.028⌧P = 0.014) and the S allele was associated with anxious temperament (t = 8.248⌧P = 0.005) in patients with bipolar disorder. the LA allele of 5-HTTLPR rs25531 A/G polymorphism was associated with hyperthymic temperament in patients with bipolar disorder (Z = −2.205⌧P = 0.027).
5-HTTLPR might have an effect on the prevalence of bipolar disorder in female and regulate affective temperaments of patients with bipolar disorder in some degree in Chinese population.
rs10761482 in ANK3 gene showed a significant association with schizophrenia in a genome-wide association study (GWAS). Another marker rs10994336 in ANK3 with the risk of bipolar disorder (BD) which might have more genetic overlap with schizophrenia, had been reported in two meta-analyses of GWAS. In this study, we investigated the association between ANK3 polymorphisms and the susceptibility of schizophrenia in Chinese Han population.
Population-based (schizophrenia patients = 516 and controls = 400) and family based (trios of early onset schizophrenia= 81) study was performed through genotyping the most promising makers rs10761482, rs10994336, and two missenses rs3808942 and rs3808943 near promoter of ANK3. Particularly, we conducted an association analysis for the combined case-control and family samples.
Our population-based study replicated the association between rs10761482 (P = 0.0268 with C allele) and schizophrenia, and detected a novel association with rs10994336 (P = 4.0 × 10−4 with T allele). Haplotype analysis revealed the higher frequencies of C-T, and T-C (rs10761482–10994336) in the cases than controls (P = 0.0032 and P = 0.0012, respectively). In the family study, the C allele of rs10761482 (P = 0.0940) and T allele of rs10994336 (P = 0.0832) were slightly over-transmitted, and T-C was significantly associated with schizophrenia (P = 0.0304). The results from the combined samples analysis were consistent with independent analysis. rs10761482, rs10994336, C-T, and T-C were significantly associated with schizophrenia (P = 3.3 × 10−6∼3.9 × 10−5), whilst rs3808942 and rs3808943 did not reach normal significance.
Our data strongly support ANK3 gene is a schizophrenia susceptibility gene, and also provide further evidence for the shared susceptibility loci between schizophrenia and BD.
Bioinformatic investigations indicate that has-mir-206 (microRNA-206, miRNA-206) could regulate BDNF protein synthesis by interfering with BDNF mRNA translation, which is disrupted in bipolar disorder (BPD).
This study is to investigate whether miRNA-206 gene variants were associated with BPD susceptibility in a Han Chinese population.
342 patients who met DSM-IV criteria for bipolar disorder type I (BPD-I) or type II (BPD-II) and 386 matched health controls were enrolled into this study. the miRNA-206 gene and +/-500bp were selected for gene sequencing. for the case-control genetic comparisons, differences in the genotype and allele distributions between patients and controls were examined using Pearson's χ2 test.
Gene sequencing showed that there are two polymorphisms rs16882131(C/T) and rs62408583 (A/C) located at the upstream of miRNA-206 gene, which are complete linkage disequilibrium. the association analysis showed that there was no significant difference for genotype frequencies (χ2 = 2.075, df = 2, P = 0.354) or for allele frequencies (χ2 = 0.041, df = 1, P = 0.839) between BPD patients and controls. Similarly, no significant difference was found between BPD-I patients and controls (genotype χ2 = 1.411, df = 2, P = 0.494; allele χ2 = 0.380, df = 1, P = 0.538). However, there was significant difference between BPD-II patients and controls (genotype χ2 = 7.933, df = 2, P = 0.019; allele χ2 = 5.403, df = 1, P = 0.020).
Our findings do not support that BPD susceptibility was associated with miRNA-206 gene polymorphisms in the studied Han Chinese population. the association between miRNA-206 gene polymorphisms and bipolar disorder type II is needed to be carefully interpreted. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the involvement miRNA-206 in the pathophysiology of BPD.
To explore the difference in the clinical features between bipolar disorder and unipolar depression from the clinical phenomenology.
Two hundred bipolar patients with their current depressive episode and five hundred and sixty three recurrent depression were involved in the study. Clinical features of these two groups were compared and stepwise Logistic regression was used to identify the relationship between clinical features and bipolar disorder.
Clinical features of depressive episode which was different between two groups and were associated with bipolar disorder were as follows: age at onset of bipolar was earlier than that of unipolar depression; Bipolar patients whose age at onset before 25 years were more than unipolar depression; Sexual appetites which was one of atypical depressive symptoms were more common in bipolar depression than in unipolar depression; with psychiatric symptoms, psychomotor retardation, mood instability and duration of every depressive episode < 3 months, were more common in bipolar depression group than in unipolar depression group; Cognitive impairment factor, one of factors of HAMD-17 score, was significantly higher in bipolar depression group than in unipolar depression group. The odd ratio were 1.54, 1.50, 3.25, 1.99, 1.89, 1.48, 1.63, 1.63, and 1.42 separately.
The founding suggested that unipolar depression and bipolar depression might be distinct disorder, and age at onset, age at onset < 25, sexual appetites, psychiatric symptoms, psychomotor retardation, mood instability and duration of every depressive episode < 3 months might be potential to be the predictors of bipolar disorder.
Ketamine exerts fast acting, robust, and lasting antidepressant effects in a sub-anesthetic dose, however, the underlying mechanisms are still not fully elucidated. Recent studies have suggested that ketamine's antidepressant effects are probably attributed to the activation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptors. The present study aimed to observe the effects of AMPA receptor modulators on mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression during the procedure of ketamine exerting antidepressant effects. Therefore, we pretreated rats with NBQX, an AMPA receptor antagonist, or CX546, an AMPA receptor agonist, and subsequently observed the immobility time during the forced swimming test (FST) and the hippocampal and prefrontal cortical levels of mTOR and BDNF. The results showed ketamine decreased the immobility time of rats during the FST and increased the hippocampal and prefrontal cortical mTOR and BDNF. NBQX pretreatment significantly increased the immobility time and decreased the levels of mTOR and BDNF when compared with vehicle 1 (DMSO) pretreatment. CX546 pretreatment significantly decreased the immobility time and increased the levels of mTOR and BDNF when compared with vehicle 2 (DMSO + ethanol) pretreatment. Our results suggest ketamine-induced antidepressant effects are associated with AMPA receptors-mediated upregulation of mTOR and BDNF in rat hippocampus and prefrontal cortex.
Combining different swine populations in genomic prediction can be an important tool, leading to an increased accuracy of genomic prediction using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip data compared with within-population genomic. However, the expected higher accuracy of multi-population genomic prediction has not been realized. This may be due to an inconsistent linkage disequilibrium (LD) between SNPs and quantitative trait loci (QTL) across populations, and the weak genetic relationships across populations. In this study, we determined the impact of different genomic relationship matrices, SNP density and pre-selected variants on prediction accuracy using a combined Yorkshire pig population. Our objective was to provide useful strategies for improving the accuracy of genomic prediction within a combined population. Results showed that the accuracy of genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) using imputed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data in the combined population was always higher than that within populations. Furthermore, the use of imputed WGS data always resulted in a higher accuracy of GBLUP than the use of 80K chip data for the combined population. Additionally, the accuracy of GBLUP with a non-linear genomic relationship matrix was markedly increased (0.87% to 15.17% for 80K chip data, and 0.43% to 4.01% for imputed WGS data) compared with that obtained with a linear genomic relationship matrix, except for the prediction of XD population in the combined population using imputed WGS data. More importantly, the application of pre-selected variants based on fixation index (Fst) scores improved the accuracy of multi-population genomic prediction, especially for 80K chip data. For BLUP|GA (BLUP approach given the genetic architecture), the use of a linear method with an appropriate weight to build a weight-relatedness matrix led to a higher prediction accuracy compared with the use of only pre-selected SNPs for genomic evaluations, especially for the total number of piglets born. However, for the non-linear method, BLUP|GA showed only a small increase or even a decrease in prediction accuracy compared with the use of only pre-selected SNPs. Overall, the best genomic evaluation strategy for reproduction-related traits for a combined population was found to be GBLUP performed with a non-linear genomic relationship matrix using variants pre-selected from the 80K chip data based on Fst scores.
The coronal heating problem is a long-standing perplexing issue. In this study, 13 solar activity indexes are used to investigate their phase relation with the sunspot number (SSN). Only three of them are found to statistically significantly lag the SSN (large-scale magnetic activity) by about one solar rotation period; the three indexes are total solar irradiance (TSI), the modified coronal index, and the solar wind velocity; the former two indexes may represent the long-term variation of energy quantity of the heated photosphere and corona, respectively. The Mount Wilson Sunspot Index (MWSI) and the Magnetic Plage Strength Index (MPSI), which reflect the large- and small-scale magnetic field activities, respectively, are also utilised to investigate their phase relations with the three indexes. The three indexes are found to be much more intimately related to MPSI than to MWSI, and MWSI statistically significantly leads TSI by about one rotation period. The heated corona is found to pulse perfectly in step with the small-scale magnetic activity rather than the large-scale magnetic activity; furthermore, combined with observations, our statistical evidence should thus attribute coronal heating firmly to small-scale magnetic activity phenomena, such as spicules, micro-flares, nano-flares, and others. The photosphere and the corona are synchronously heated, which should seemingly prefer magnetic reconnection heating to wave heating. In the long term, such a coronal heating way is inferred effective. Statistically, it is also small-scale magnetic activity phenomena that produce TSI enhancement. Coronal heating and solar wind acceleration are found to be synchronous, as standard models require.
The fatty acid composition of chicken’s meat is largely influenced by dietary lipids, which are often used as supplements to increase dietary caloric density. The underlying key metabolites and pathways influenced by dietary oils remain poorly known in chickens. The objective of this study was to explore the underlying metabolic mechanisms of how diets supplemented with mixed or a single oil with distinct fatty acid composition influence the fatty acid profile in breast muscle of Qingyuan chickens. Birds were fed a corn-soybean meal diet supplemented with either soybean oil (control, CON) or equal amounts of mixed edible oils (MEO; soybean oil : lard : fish oil : coconut oil = 1 : 1 : 0.5 : 0.5) from 1 to 120 days of age. Growth performance and fatty acid composition of muscle lipids were analysed. LC-MS was applied to investigate the effects of CON v. MEO diets on lipid-related metabolites in the muscle of chickens at day 120. Compared with the CON diet, chickens fed the MEO diet had a lower feed conversion ratio (P < 0.05), higher proportions of lauric acid (C12:0), myristic acid (C14:0), palmitoleic acid (C16:1n-7), oleic acid (C18:1n-9), EPA (C20:5n-3) and DHA (C22:6n-3), and a lower linoleic acid (C18:2n-6) content in breast muscle (P < 0.05). Muscle metabolome profiling showed that the most differentially abundant metabolites are phospholipids, including phosphatidylcholines (PC) and phosphatidylethanolamines (PE), which enriched the glycerophospholipid metabolism (P < 0.05). These key differentially abundant metabolites – PC (14:0/20:4), PC (18:1/14:1), PC (18:0/14:1), PC (18:0/18:4), PC (20:0/18:4), PE (22:0/P-16:0), PE (24:0/20:5), PE (22:2/P-18:1), PE (24:0/18:4) – were closely associated with the contents of C12:0, C14:0, DHA and C18:2n-6 in muscle lipids (P < 0.05). The content of glutathione metabolite was higher with MEO than CON diet (P < 0.05). Based on these results, it can be concluded that the diet supplemented with MEO reduced the feed conversion ratio, enriched the content of n-3 fatty acids and modified the related metabolites (including PC, PE and glutathione) in breast muscle of chickens.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
Small intestinal epithelium homeostasis involves four principal cell types: enterocytes, goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been shown to affect enterocyte differentiation. This study determined the effect of dietary EGF on goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglet small intestine and potential mechanisms. Forty-two weaned piglets were used in a 2 × 3 factorial design; the major factors were time post-weaning (days 7 and 14) and dietary treatment (0, 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF supplementation). The numbers of goblet and enteroendocrine cells were generally greater with the increase in time post-weaning. Moreover, the supplementation of 200 µg/kg EGF increased (P < 0.01) the number of goblet and enteroendocrine cells in villus and crypt of the piglet small intestine as compared with the control. Dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of differentiation-related genes atonal homologue 1, mucin 2 and intestinal trefoil factor 3 messenger RNA (mRNA) as compared with the control. Piglets fed 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF diet had increased (P < 0.05) abundances of growth factor-independent 1, SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 mRNA, but decreased the abundance (P < 0.01) of E74 like ETS transcription factor 3 mRNA as compared with the control. Animals receiving 400 µg/kg EGF diets had enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of neurogenin3 and SRY-box containing gene 9 mRNA as compared with the control. The mRNA abundance and protein expression of lysozyme, a marker of Paneth cell, were also increased (P < 0.05) in those animals. As compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF increased the abundance of EGF receptor mRNA and the ratio of non-phospho(p)-β-catenin/β-catenin (P < 0.05) in villus epithelial cells at days 7 and 14. This ratio in crypt epithelial cells was higher (P < 0.05) on the both 200 and 400 µg/kg EGF groups during the same period. Our results demonstrated that dietary EGF stimulated goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglets during the post-weaning period, partly through EGFR and Wnt/β-catenin signalling.
Space Infrared Telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA), the cryogenic infrared space telescope recently pre-selected for a ‘Phase A’ concept study as one of the three remaining candidates for European Space Agency (ESA's) fifth medium class (M5) mission, is foreseen to include a far-infrared polarimetric imager [SPICA-POL, now called B-fields with BOlometers and Polarizers (B-BOP)], which would offer a unique opportunity to resolve major issues in our understanding of the nearby, cold magnetised Universe. This paper presents an overview of the main science drivers for B-BOP, including high dynamic range polarimetric imaging of the cold interstellar medium (ISM) in both our Milky Way and nearby galaxies. Thanks to a cooled telescope, B-BOP will deliver wide-field 100–350
m images of linearly polarised dust emission in Stokes Q and U with a resolution, signal-to-noise ratio, and both intensity and spatial dynamic ranges comparable to those achieved by Herschel images of the cold ISM in total intensity (Stokes I). The B-BOP 200
m images will also have a factor
30 higher resolution than Planck polarisation data. This will make B-BOP a unique tool for characterising the statistical properties of the magnetised ISM and probing the role of magnetic fields in the formation and evolution of the interstellar web of dusty molecular filaments giving birth to most stars in our Galaxy. B-BOP will also be a powerful instrument for studying the magnetism of nearby galaxies and testing Galactic dynamo models, constraining the physics of dust grain alignment, informing the problem of the interaction of cosmic rays with molecular clouds, tracing magnetic fields in the inner layers of protoplanetary disks, and monitoring accretion bursts in embedded protostars.