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Asking questions is a powerful learning tool that children take full advantage of, as they are well-known to be prolific and determined question-askers. But do children ask good questions? In this chapter, we review and discuss qualitative and quantitative studies to trace the developmental trajectory of children’s question–asking strategies, focusing on their effectiveness and adaptiveness. Previous research has so far established three milestones: children’s question–asking abilities evolve from being able to identify effective questions, but not being able to spontaneously generate them at the age of five, to beginning to generate effective questions from scratch at age seven, to implementing efficient and adaptive question–asking strategies by the age of ten, echoing adult–level patterns of performance. We discuss how the cognitive and environmental factors driving these developmental changes still remain unclear, and how taking a multidisciplinary approach might be necessary to fill these gaps. We argue that the results from research on question-asking have the potential to inform educational policies, and to help design targeted training interventions and educational curricula that exploit the early emergence of these skills and support their further development, providing children with a toolbox of strategies and concepts they can use to effectively navigate the world.
Disruption of physiological aging of the placenta can lead to pregnancy complications and increased risk for cardiometabolic diseases during childhood and adulthood. Maternal metabolic and genetic factors need to operate in concert with placental development for optimal pregnancy outcome. However, it is unknown whether maternal cardiometabolic status and genetic ancestry contribute to differences in placental epigenetic age acceleration (PAA). We investigated whether maternal prepregnancy obesity, gestational weight gain (GWG), blood pressure, and genetic ancestry influence PAA. Among 301 pregnant women from 4 race/ethnic groups who provided placenta samples at delivery as part of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Fetal Growth Studies, placental DNA methylation age was estimated using 62 CpGs known to predict placental aging. PAA was defined to be the difference between placental DNA methylation age and gestational age at birth. Percentage of genetic ancestries was estimated using genotype data. We found that a 1 kg/week increase in GWG was associated with up to 1.71 (95% CI: −3.11, −0.32) week lower PAA. Offspring Native American ancestry and African ancestry were associated, respectively, with higher and lower PAA among Hispanics, and maternal East Asian ancestry was associated with lower PAA among Asians (p < 0.05). Among mothers with a male offspring, blood pressure was associated with lower PAA across all three trimesters (p < 0.05), prepregnancy obesity compared to normal weight was associated with 1.24 (95% CI: −2.24, −0.25) week lower PAA. In summary, we observed that maternal cardiometabolic factors and genetic ancestry influence placental epigenetic aging and some of these influences may be male offspring-specific.
To evaluate the effects of gestational weight gain (GWG) in the first trimester (GWG-F) and the rate of gestational weight gain in the second trimester (RGWG-S) on gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), exploring the optimal GWG ranges for the avoidance of GDM in Chinese women.
A population-based prospective study was conducted. Gestational weight was measured regularly in every antenatal visit and assessed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) criteria (2009). GDM was assessed with the 75-g, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test at 24–28 weeks of gestation. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to assess the effects of GWG-F and RGWG-S on GDM, stratified by pre-pregnancy BMI. In each BMI category, the GWG values corresponding to the lowest prevalence of GDM were defined as the optimal GWG range.
Pregnant women (n 1910) in 2017.
After adjusting for confounders, GWG-F above IOM recommendations increased the risk of GDM (OR; 95 % CI) among underweight (2·500; 1·106, 5·655), normal-weight (1·396; 1·023, 1·906) and overweight/obese women (3·017; 1·118, 8·138) compared with women within IOM recommendations. No significant difference was observed between RGWG-S and GDM (P > 0·05) after adjusting for GWG-F based on the previous model. The optimal GWG-F ranges for the avoidance of GDM were 0·8–1·2, 0·8–1·2 and 0·35–0·70 kg for underweight, normal-weight and overweight/obese women, respectively.
Excessive GWG in the first trimester, rather than the second trimester, is associated with increased risk of GDM regardless of pre-pregnancy BMI. Obstetricians should provide more pre-emptive guidance in achieving adequate GWG-F.
This paper deals with the problem of the formation control of nonholonomic mobile robots in the leader–follower scenario without considering the leader information, as a result of its velocity and position. The kinematic model is reformulated as a formation model by incorporating the model uncertainties and external disturbance. The controller is presented in the two-step process. Firstly, the tracking problem is taken into consideration, which can be used as a platform to design a controller for the multi-agents. The proposed controller is designed based on a non-singular fast terminal sliding mode controller (FTSMC), which drives the tracking error to zero in finite time. It not only ensures the tracking but also handles the problem related to non-singularities. Moreover, the design control scheme is modified using high-gain observer to resolve the undefined fluctuations due to man-made errors in sensors. Secondly, the multi-agent tracking problem is considered; hence, a novel formation control is designed using FTSMC, which ensures the formation pattern as well as tracking. Furthermore, the obstacle avoidance algorithm is incorporated to avoid the collision, inside the region of interest. With the Lyapunov analysis, the stability of the proposed algorithm is verified. As a result, simulated graphs are shown to prove the efficacy of the proposed control scheme.
To evaluate the association of ultra-processed food (UPF) consumption with gains in weight and waist circumference, and incident overweight/obesity, in the Brazilian Longitudinal Study of Adult Health (ELSA-Brasil) cohort.
We applied FFQ at baseline and categorized energy intake by degree of processing using the NOVA classification. Height, weight and waist circumference were measured at baseline and after a mean 3·8-year follow-up. We assessed associations, through Poisson regression with robust variance, of UPF consumption with large weight gain (1·68 kg/year) and large waist gain (2·42 cm/year), both being defined as ≥90th percentile in the cohort, and with incident overweight/obesity.
Civil servants of Brazilian public academic institutions in six cities (n 11 827), aged 35–74 years at baseline (2008–2010).
UPF provided a mean 24·6 (sd 9·6) % of ingested energy. After adjustment for smoking, physical activity, adiposity and other factors, fourth (>30·8 %) v. first (<17·8 %) quartile of UPF consumption was associated (relative risk (95 % CI)) with 27 and 33 % greater risk of large weight and waist gains (1·27 (1·07, 1·50) and 1·33 (1·12, 1·58)), respectively. Similarly, those in the fourth consumption quartile presented 20 % greater risk (1·20 (1·03, 1·40)) of incident overweight/obesity and 2 % greater risk (1·02; (0·85, 1·21)) of incident obesity. Approximately 15 % of cases of large weight and waist gains and of incident overweight/obesity could be attributed to consumption of >17·8 % of energy as UPF.
Greater UPF consumption predicts large gains in overall and central adiposity and may contribute to the inexorable rise in obesity seen worldwide.
Antipsychotics often induce excessive weight gain. We hypothesised that individuals with genetic variations related to known obesity-risk genes have an increased risk of excessive antipsychotic-induced weight gain (AIWG). This hypothesis was tested in a subset of the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) trial data set.
The CATIE trial compared effects and side effects of five different antipsychotics through an 18-month period. Based on the maximum weight gain recorded, excessive weight gain was defined as >7% weight gain. Cytoscape and GeneMANIA were instrumental in composing a molecular pathway from eight selected genes linked to obesity. Genetic information on a total of 495.172 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were available from 765 (556 males) individuals. Enrichment test was conducted through ReactomePA and Bioconductor. A permutation test was performed, testing the generated pathway against 105 permutated pathways (p ≤ 0.05). In addition, a standard genome-wide association study (GWAS) analysis was performed.
GWAS analysis did not detect significant differences related to excessive weight gain. The pathway generated contained 28 genes. A total of 2067 SNPs were significantly expressed (p < 0.01) within this pathway when comparing excessive weight gainers to the rest of the sample. Affected genes including PPARG and PCSK1 were not previously related to treatment-induced weight gain.
The molecular pathway composed from high-risk obesity genes was shown to overlap with genetics of patients who gained >7% weight gain during the CATIE trial. This suggests that genes related to obesity compose a pathway of increased risk of excessive AIWG. Further independent analyses are warranted that may confirm or clarify the possible reasoning behind.
A 42-d study was conducted to investigate the effects of an emulsifier supplementation (de-oiled soyabean lecithin (DSL)) of diets with different levels of metabolisable energy (ME) and various sources of fat on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, blood profile and jejunal morphology of broiler chickens. Diets were arranged factorially (2 × 2 × 2) and consisted of two concentrations of ME (normal and low), two fat sources (soyabean oil (SO) and poultry fat (PF)) and two levels of DSL supplementation (0 and 1 g/kg). A total of 800 1-d-old male broiler chickens were assigned to eight treatments with five replicates/treatment. The results showed the supplemental DSL caused improvements in the overall feed conversion ratio, fat digestibility and jejunal villus height:crypt depth ratio, but the magnitude of the responses was greater in the PF-containing diets, resulting in significant fat × DSL interactions (P<0·05). Abdominal fat percentage was also reduced by the PF-containing diet, but the response was greater in the normal ME diet, resulting in a significant ME × fat interaction (P = 0·048). Dietary DSL supplementation also increased nitrogen-corrected apparent ME values but decreased blood TAG (P = 0·041) and LDL (P = 0·049) concentrations, regardless of the source of fat used or the ME values in the diet. In conclusion, the present study suggests that the improvements in growth performance, fat digestibility and intestinal morphology that can be achieved with DSL supplementation are highly dependent on the degree of saturation of lipid incorporated into broiler chicken diets.
An 8-week feeding experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of dl-methionine (Met) supplementation in a low-fishmeal diet on growth, key gene expressions of amino acid transporters and target of rapamycin (TOR) pathway in juvenile cobia, Rachycentron canadum. Seven isonitrogenous and isolipidic diets were formulated, containing 0·72, 0·90, 1·00, 1·24, 1·41, 1·63 and 1·86 % Met. Weight gain and specific growth rates increased gradually with Met levels of up to 1·24 % and then decreased gradually. In dorsal muscle, mRNA levels of ASCT2 in the 1·00 % Met group were significantly up-regulated compared with 0·72, 1·63, and 1·86 %. The insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) mRNA levels in the dorsal muscle of fish fed 1·00 and 1·24 % Met were higher than those in fish fed other Met levels. In addition, fish fed 1·24 % Met showed the highest mRNA levels of TOR and phosphorylation of TOR on Ser2448. The phosphorylation of ribosomal p70-S6 kinase (S6K) on Ser371 in the dorsal muscle of fish fed 1·86 % Met was higher than those in the 0·72 % group. In conclusion, straight broken-line analysis of weight gain rate against dietary Met level indicates that the optimal Met requirement for juvenile cobia is 1·24 % (of DM, or 2·71 % dietary protein). Met supplementation in a low-fishmeal diet increased cobia growth via a mechanism that can partly be attributed to Met’s ability to affect the TOR/S6K signalling pathway by enhancing ASCT2 and IGF-I transcription in cobia dorsal muscle.
Subcutaneous adipose tissue (scAT) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) play a significant role in obesity-associated systemic low-grade inflammation. High-fat diet (HFD) is known to induce inflammatory changes in both scAT and PBMC. However, the time course of the effect of HFD on these systems is still unknown. The aim of the present study was to determine the time course of the effect of HFD on PBMC and scAT. New Zealand white rabbits were fed HFD for 5 or 10 weeks (i.e. HFD-5 and HFD-10) or regular chow (i.e. control (CNT)-5 and CNT-10). Thereafter, metabolic and inflammatory parameters of PBMC and scAT were quantified. HFD induced hyperfattyacidaemia in HFD-5 and HFD-10 groups, with the development of insulin resistance in HFD-10, while no changes were observed in scAT lipid metabolism and inflammatory status. HFD activated the inflammatory pathways in PBMC of HFD-5 group and induced modified autophagy in that of HFD-10. The rate of fat oxidation in PBMC was directly associated with the expression of inflammatory markers and tended to inversely associate with autophagosome formation markers in PBMC. HFD affected systemic substrate metabolism, and the metabolic, inflammatory and autophagy pathways in PBMC in the absence of metabolic and inflammatory changes in scAT. Dietary approaches or interventions to avert HFD-induced changes in PBMC could be essential to prevent metabolic and inflammatory complications of obesity and promote healthier living.
A magnetic dipole quasi-Yagi antenna based on a dielectric resonator (DR) is proposed in this letter. The dominate TE1δ1 mode of the rectangular DR is used as a magnetic dipole which can be differentially fed by the coplanar strip line (CPS). Thanks to the DR employment, the proposed antenna has several advantages such as compact size and flexible design which means the 3-D dimensions of the DR can be easily adjusted to cater for various applications. Meanwhile, the gain of the proposed DR quasi-Yagi antenna is higher than that of traditional electric dipole counterparts. Furthermore, since the DR driver is horizontally polarized, both the metal strip and DR can be used as a director for enhancing the end-fire gain. To verify the design concept, a prototype operating at the X-band is fabricated and measured. Good agreement between the simulated and measured results can be observed.
The dipeptide dl-methionyl-dl-methionine (Met-Met) has extremely low water solubility and better absorption than other methionine sources (such as dl-methionine and l-methionine) available in the market. Therefore, six diets (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5 and D6) containing 0, 0·07, 0·15, 0·21, 0·28 and 0·38 % Met-Met were formulated to investigate the effects of Met-Met in juvenile Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus (17 g initial body weight). The results indicated that percentage weight gain and specific growth rate of fish fed with D2 and D3 diets were higher than those fed with D1, D4–D6 diets. The levels of total essential amino acid in whole body of fish fed with D3 and D4 diets were significantly higher than those fed the D1 diet. Superoxide dismutase activity and malondialdehyde content have no significant difference in fish fed the diet with or without Met-Met supplementation. Majority of reads derived from the fish intestine belonged to members of Fusobacteria, followed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Diversity of intestinal microbiota and total antioxidant capacity in fish fed with D3 diet was significantly higher than that of other groups. Based on the growth results, the authors conclude that the optimal level of Met is 0·61 % Met with the addition of 0·15 % Met-Met for grower-phase O. niloticus.
Whether maternal obesity and gestational weight gain (GWG) are associated with early-childhood development in low-income, urban, minority populations, and whether effects differ by child sex remain unknown. This study examined the impact of prepregnancy BMI and GWG on early childhood neurodevelopment in the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health Mothers and Newborns study. Maternal prepregnancy weight was obtained by self-report, and GWG was assessed from participant medical charts. At child age 3 years, the Psychomotor Development Index (PDI) and Mental Development Index (MDI) of the Bayley Scales of Infant Intelligence were completed. Sex-stratified linear regression models assessed associations between prepregnancy BMI and pregnancy weight gain z-scores with child PDI and MDI scores, adjusting for covariates. Of 382 women, 48.2% were normal weight before pregnancy, 24.1% overweight, 23.0% obese, and 4.7% underweight. At 3 years, mean scores on the PDI and MDI were higher among girls compared to boys (PDI: 102.3 vs. 97.2, P = 0.0002; MDI: 92.8 vs. 88.3, P = 0.0001). In covariate-adjusted models, maternal obesity was markedly associated with lower PDI scores in boys [b = −7.81, 95% CI: (−13.08, −2.55), P = 0.004], but not girls. Maternal BMI was not associated with MDI in girls or boys, and GWG was not associated with PDI or MDI among either sex (all-P > 0.05). We found that prepregnancy obesity was associated with lower PDI scores at 3 years in boys, but not girls. The mechanisms underlying this sex-specific association remain unclear, but due to elevated obesity exposure in urban populations, further investigation is warranted.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of supplementing essential fatty acids (FA), during late gestation and the preweaning and early weaning periods on passive immunity, growth, health, rumen fermentation parameters, blood metabolites and behaviour of dairy calves. During the last 3 weeks of pregnancy, cattle (n 120), within parity, were randomly assigned to one of three diets with different fat supplements: (a) no supplemental fat (CON), (b) supplement rich in linoleic acid (CSO), or (c) supplement rich in EPA and DHA (CFO). Eighty-four newborn Holstein calves were randomly assigned, within the prepartum diets, to one of two calf starters: no fat supplement (FC-0) or 2 % Ca-salt of unsaturated FA (FC-2). Overall, the interaction between dam diets and calf starters did not affect calf performance or any other parameter measured. Calves born from dams fed fat (CSO or CFO) performed better than calves born from dams fed CON. Namely, calves born from dams fed fat had greater plasma concentrations of IgG (P < 0·01), better apparent efficiency of IgG absorption (P < 0·01) and average daily gain (ADG, 597 v. 558 g/d; P = 0·02), and lower rectal temperature (RT; P < 0·01). Calves fed a calf starter rich in unsaturated FA (FC-2) had greater (P ≤ 0·01) ADG, skeletal growth, feed efficiency, and weaning weight compared with FC-0-fed calves. Furthermore, calves fed FC-2 had lower RT during the pre- and post-weaning periods (P ≤ 0·04) and fewer days with diarrhoea (P < 0·001) compared with calves fed CF-0. Time spent eating, ruminating, standing, lying, and on non-nutritive oral behaviour did not differ by treatment. Similarly, treatments did not affect ruminal fermentation parameters. At 28 and 77 d of age, calves fed CF-2 had higher plasma concentrations of albumin and cholesterol (P ≤ 0·02) and lower urea N compared with calves fed CF-0. Plasma concentrations of alkaline phosphatase were higher in calves fed CF-2 compared with those fed CF-0, when they were 77 d old. These findings support feeding moderate amounts of long-chain PUFA during late uterine life or during the preweaning period have beneficial effects on calf metabolism, growth, and health performance.
Basic amplifier stages are described in a somewhat cursory fashion. We use circuits that are familiar to most readers and present the analysis in a way that conforms to the estimation analysis described in Chapter 1. This way the reader will encounter familiar calculations in a different framework. The estimation analysis is also applied to nonlinear extensions of the common transfer function expressions. The chapter contains design examples and a set of exercises to ensure that the reader understands the basic concepts.
Sow litter sizes have increased, subjecting more small piglets to intra-uterine growth restriction (IUGR). Research on the development and growth of IUGR pigs is limited. The objective of this study was to compare the body composition and organ development of IUGR pigs at weaning, and to estimate their growth performance from birth to 30 kg. A total of 142 IUGR and 142 normal piglets were classified at birth based on their head morphology. At weaning, 20 IUGR and 20 normal piglets were collected, a whole-body dual-energy x-ray absorption scan was performed, and the piglets were euthanized for organ measurements. Body weight (BW) was measured weekly from birth to 30 kg, rectal temperature and whole-blood glucose levels were measured weekly from birth to weaning, and blood samples were collected at days 7, 14 and 21 for IGF-1 analysis. Results showed that IUGR pigs have a similar percentage of adipose tissue (P > 0.05) compared to normal pigs at 24 days of age. Organs were smaller (P < 0.001) in IUGR pigs than in normal pigs, whereas brain, liver, lungs and adrenal glands were relatively larger (P < 0.05) in relation to the BW of IUGR pigs. Average birth weight (BiW) of normal pigs was greater (P < 0.001) compared with IUGR pigs (1.38 v. 0.75 kg), and the average daily gain (ADG) of IUGR pigs was reduced from day 0 to 14, day 0 to 28 (weaning) and from weaning to 30 kg compared to normal pigs. From birth to weaning at day 28, IUGR piglets had a 72.9 g/day greater fractional ADG (FADG) in relation to their BiW (P < 0.05), but FADG did not differ (P > 0.05) from weaning to 30 kg. Rectal temperature of IUGR piglets was greater (P < 0.05) on day 7 compared with normal piglets, and, even though blood glucose levels were decreased (P < 0.001) in IUGR piglets at day 0, neither glucose nor IGF-1 concentrations differed (P > 0.05) between IUGR and normal piglets. In conclusion, IUGR piglets exhibited some relatively larger organs at weaning compared to normal pigs, but body composition was similar between IUGR and normal pigs. In addition, IUGR pigs had a reduced ADG from birth to 30 kg, and, although they exhibited a greater FADG during nursing, IUGR pigs still require six additional days to reach a BW of 30 kg in comparison to normal pigs.
Both inadequate and excessive gestational weight gain (GWG) have been shown to increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, but the risk profiles of GWG rate are unclear. We aimed to examine the associations between GWG rate in the second/third trimester and a spectrum of pregnancy outcomes. This study consisted of 14 219 Chinese rural nulliparous women who participated in a randomised controlled trial of prenatal micronutrient supplementation during 2006–2009. The outcomes included stillbirth, neonatal and infant death, preterm birth, macrosomia, low birth weight (LBW) and large and small for gestational age (LGA and SGA, respectively). GWG rate was divided into quintiles within each BMI category. Compared with women in the middle quintile, those in the lowest quintile had higher risks of neonatal death (adjusted OR 2·27; 95 % CI 1·03, 5·02), infant death (adjusted OR 1·85; 95 % CI 1·02, 3·37) and early preterm birth (adjusted OR 2·33; 95 % CI 1·13, 4·77), while those in the highest quintile had higher risks of overall preterm birth (adjusted OR 1·28; 95 % CI 1·04, 1·59), late preterm birth (adjusted OR 1·25; 95 % CI 1·00, 1·56), LBW (adjusted OR 1·48; 95 % CI 1·02, 2·15), macrosomia (adjusted OR 1·89; 95 % CI 1·46, 2·45) and LGA (adjusted OR 1·56; 95 % CI 1·31, 1·85). In conclusion, very low and very high GWG rates in the second/third trimester appear to be associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes in Chinese nulliparous women, indicating that an appropriate GWG rate during pregnancy is necessary for neonatal health.
The fenofibrate functions in mammals could be affected by many factors such as dietary nutrient levels and physiological status. However, this phenomenon has not been well studied in fish. The goal of our study was to investigate the effect of dietary protein contents on metabolic regulation of fenofibrate in Nile tilapia. An 8-week experiment was conducted to feed fish with four diets at two protein levels (28 and 38 %) with or without the supplementation of fenofibrate (200 mg/kg body weight per d). After the trial, the body morphometric parameters, plasma biochemical parameters and quantitative PCR data were examined. These results showed that fenofibrate significantly reduced the feeding intake and weight gain rate, increased the oxidative stress (increased plasma methane dicarboxylic aldehyde) and liver : body ratio (increased hepatosomatic index) in the low protein (LP)-fed fish. In contrast, fenofibrate exhibited a lipid-lowering (reduced hepatic lipid) effect and up-regulated the expressions of the genes related to lipid catabolism, transport and anabolic metabolism in the high protein (HP)-fed fish. The present study suggested that lipid-lowering effect of fenofibrate would be strengthened in the fish fed with the HP diet containing high energy, but in the fish fed with the LP diet containing low energy, the fenofibrate treatment would cause adverse effects for metabolism. Taking together, our study showed that the metabolic regulation of fenofibrate in Nile tilapia was dependent not only on feed energy content but also on dietary nutrient composition, such as dietary protein and/or lipid levels.
The objective of the present study is to summarise trends in under- and over-nutrition in pregnant women on the Thailand–Myanmar border. Refugees contributed data from 1986 to 2016 and migrants from 1999 to 2016 for weight at first antenatal consultation. BMI and gestational weight gain (GWG) data were available during 2004–2016 when height was routinely measured. Risk factors for low and high BMI were analysed for <18·5 kg/m2 or ≥23 kg/m2, respectively. A total of 48 062 pregnancies over 30 years were available for weight analysis and 14 646 pregnancies over 13 years (2004–2016) had BMI measured in first trimester (<14 weeks’ gestational age). Mean weight at first antenatal consultation in any trimester increased over the 30-year period by 2·0 to 5·2 kg for all women. First trimester BMI has been increasing on average by 0·5 kg/m2 for refugees and 0·6 kg/m2 for migrants, every 5 years. The proportion of women with low BMI in the first trimester decreased from 16·7 to 12·7 % for refugees and 23·1 to 20·2 % for migrants, whereas high BMI increased markedly from 16·9 to 33·2 % for refugees and 12·3 to 28·4 % for migrants. Multivariate analysis demonstrated low BMI as positively associated with being Burman, Muslim, primigravid, having malaria during pregnancy and smoking, and negatively associated with refugee as opposed to migrant status. High BMI was positively associated with being Muslim and literate, and negatively associated with age, primigravida, malaria, anaemia and smoking. Mean GWG was 10·0 (sd 3·4), 9·5 (sd 3·6) and 8·3 (sd 4·3) kg, for low, normal and high WHO BMI categories for Asians, respectively.
Weaning of beef calves is a stressful event that negatively impacts health and performance. A variety of interventions have been proposed to reduce stress and improve gains following weaning. This study used 288 7- to 8-month-old calves from two separate locations, to examine four different weaning strategies, as well as the impact of shipment. Calves were blocked by weight and sex, and then randomly assigned to one of four treatments: abrupt weaning (AW), where calves were separated from the dam on day 0 (D0) and allowed no further contact with the dam; fence line (FL), where calves were weaned on D0 but had fence line contact with dams for 7 days; nose flap (NF), where on day -6 calves received a nose flap that interferes with suckling, then had the flap removed and were weaned from the dam on D0; and intermittent separation (SEP), where calves were removed from dams for 24-h intervals on day -13 and day -6, then weaned on D0, but allowed fence line contact with the dam for 7 days. Each treatment group was further divided into two subgroups, one of which was shipped early (D0 for AW, day 7 for others) or shipped later (day 28). Body weight and sickness were recorded for all groups. Results showed a negative impact on gain for early shipping compared to later shipping, and poorer gain in AW calves than most other treatments. Results of the analyses of morbidity were inconclusive. This study found that delayed shipment following FL weaning improves performance under common management conditions for the US cow–calf industry.
Intestinal barrier inflammatory damage is commonly accompanied by hypoxia. The hypothesis that dietary Acanthopanax senticosus polysaccharides (ASPS) might modulate the hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) signalling pathway and contribute to attenuate intestinal injury was tested in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged piglets. Thirty-six weaned pigs were randomly allocated to one of the following three groups: (1) basal diet + saline challenge; (2) basal diet + LPS challenge; (3) basal diet with 800 mg/kg ASPS + LPS challenge. LPS was injected at 15, 18 and 21 d, and intestinal sections were sampled following blood collection at 21 d . The results showed ASPS reversed (P < 0·05) LPS-induced decrease in average daily feed intake and rise (P < 0·05) of diarrhoea incidence and index. Biochemical index reflecting gut barrier damage and function involving ileal pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) and enzyme activity (diamine oxidase and lactase), as well as circulatory d-xylose, was normalised (P < 0·05) in LPS-challenged piglets receiving ASPS. ASPS also ameliorated intestinal morphological deterioration of LPS-challenged piglets, proved by elevated ileal villus height (P < 0·05) and improved appearance of epithelial villus and tight junction ultrastructure. Moreover, ASPS prevented LPS-induced amplification of inflammatory mediators, achieved by depressed ileal mRNA abundance of TNF-α, inducible NO synthase and IL-1β concentration. Importantly, ileal protein expressions of HIF-1α, cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) and NFκB p65 were also suppressed with ASPS administration (P < 0·05). Collectively, these results suggest the improvement of mucosal inflammatory damage and diarrhoea in immune stress piglets is possibly associated with a novel finding where HIF-1α/COX-2 pathway down-regulation is involved in NFκB p65-inducible releasing of inflammatory cytokines by dietary ASPS.