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The effects of monolaurin (ML) on the health of piglets infected with porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) have not been fully understood. This study aimed to investigate its role in blood biochemical profile, intestinal barrier function, antioxidant function and the expression of antiviral genes in piglets infected with PEDV. Thirty-two piglets were randomly divided into four groups: control group, ML group, PEDV group and ML + PEDV group. Piglets were orally administrated with ML at a dose of 100 mg/kg·BW for 7 d before PEDV infection. Results showed that PEDV infection significantly decreased D-xylose content and increased intestinal fatty acid-binding protein content, indicating that PEDV infection destroyed intestinal barrier and absorption function. While it could be repaired by ML administration. Moreover, ML administration significantly decreased plasma blood urea nitrogen and total protein content upon PEDV infection. These results suggested ML may increase protein utilisation efficiency. ML administration significantly decreased the number of large unstained cells and Hb and increased the number of leucocytes and eosinophils in the blood of PEDV-infected piglets, indicating ML could improve the immune defense function of the body. In the presence of PEDV infection, ML administration significantly increased superoxide dismutase and catalase activities in blood and colon, respectively, indicating ML could improve antioxidant capacity. Besides, ML administration reversed the expression of ISG15, IFIT3 and IL-29 throughout the small intestine and Mx1 in jejunum and ileum, indicating the body was in recovery from PEDV infection. This study suggests that ML could be used as a kind of feed additive to promote swine health upon PEDV infection.
The intestine requires a high amount of energy to maintain its health and function; thus, energy deficits in intestinal mucosa may lead to intestinal damage. Asparagine (Asn) is a precursor for many other amino acids such as aspartate, glutamine and glutamate, which can be used to supply energy to enterocytes. In the present study, we hypothesise that dietary supplementation of Asn could alleviate bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced intestinal injury via improvement of intestinal energy status. A total of twenty-four weaned piglets were assigned to one of four treatments: (1) non-challenged control; (2) LPS+0 % Asn; (3) LPS+0·5 % Asn; (4) LPS+1·0 % Asn. On day 19, piglets were injected with LPS or saline. At 24 h post-injection, piglets were slaughtered and intestinal samples were collected. Asn supplementation improved intestinal morphology, indicated by higher villus height and villus height:crypt depth ratio, and lower crypt depth. Asn supplementation also increased the ratios of RNA:DNA and protein:DNA as well as disaccharidase activities in intestinal mucosa. In addition, Asn supplementation attenuated bacterial LPS-induced intestinal energy deficits, indicated by increased ATP and adenylate energy charge levels, and decreased AMP:ATP ratio. Moreover, Asn administration increased the activities of key enzymes involved in the tricarboxylic acid cycle, including citrate synthase, isocitrate dehydrogenase and α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex. Finally, Asn administration decreased the mRNA abundance of intestinal AMP-activated protein kinase-α1 (AMPKα1), AMPKα2, silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) and PPARγ coactivator-1α (PGC1α), and reduced intestinal AMPKα phosphorylation. Collectively, these results indicate that Asn supplementation alleviates bacterial LPS-induced intestinal injury by modulating the AMPK signalling pathway and improving energy status.
Pro-inflammatory cytokines play a key role in many models of hepatic damage. In addition, asparagine (Asn) plays an important role in immune function. We aimed to investigate whether Asn could attenuate lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced liver damage. Forty-eight castrated barrows were allotted to four groups including: (1) non-challenged control; (2) LPS-challenged control; (3) LPS+0·5 % Asn; and (4) LPS+1·0 % Asn. After 19 d feeding with control, 0·5 or 1·0 % Asn diets, pigs were injected with LPS or saline. Blood and liver samples were obtained at 4 h (early stage) and 24 h (late stage) post-injection. Asn alleviated liver injury, indicated by reduced serum aspartate aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase activities linearly and quadratically; it increased claudin-1 protein expression linearly and quadratically at 24 h, and less severe liver morphological impairment at 4 or 24 h. In addition, Asn decreased mRNA expression of TNF-α and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) linearly and quadratically at 4 h; it increased TNF-α mRNA expression, and HSP70 protein expression linearly and quadratically at 24 h. Moreover, Asn increased inducible NO synthase activity linearly and quadratically. Finally, Asn down-regulated the mRNA expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signalling molecules (TLR4, IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK1), TNF-α receptor-associated factor 6), nucleotide-binding oligomerisation domain protein (NOD) signalling molecules (NOD1, NOD2 and their adaptor molecule receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 2 (RIPK2)), and NF-κB p65 linearly or quadratically at 4 h. Oppositely, Asn up-regulated mRNA expressions of TLR4 and NOD signalling molecules (TLR4, myeloid differentiation factor 88, IRAK1, NOD2 and RIPK2), and their negative regulators (radioprotective 105, single Ig IL-1R-related molecule, Erbb2 interacting protein and centaurin β1) linearly or quadratically at 24 h. These results indicate that, in early and late stages of LPS challenge, Asn improves liver integrity and exerts different regulatory effects on mRNA expression of TLR4 and NOD signalling molecules.
Tributyrin (TBU) is a good dietary source of butyrate and has beneficial effects on the maintenance of normal intestinal morphology. The present study tested the hypothesis that dietary TBU supplementation could alleviate intestinal injury in the acetic acid (ACA)-induced porcine model of colitis. A total of eighteen piglets (25 d old) were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups (control, ACA and TBU). The control and ACA groups were fed a basal diet and the TBU group was fed the basal diet supplemented with 0·1 % TBU. On day 15 of the trial, under anaesthesia, a soft catheter was inserted into the rectum of piglets (20–25 cm from the anus), followed by administration of either saline (control group) or ACA (10 ml of 10 % ACA solution for ACA and TBU groups). On day 22 of the trial, after venous blood samples were collected, piglets were killed to obtain mid-ileum and mid-colon mucosae. Compared with the control group, the ACA group exhibited an increase (P< 0·05) in lymphocyte counts, creatinine, PGE2, and malondialdehyde concentrations and diamine oxidase and inducible NO synthase activities in the plasma and lymphocyte density in the colon and a decrease in insulin concentrations and glutathione peroxidase activity, ileal villus height:crypt depth ratios and goblet cell numbers in the colon. These adverse effects of ACA were attenuated by TBU supplementation. Moreover, TBU prevented the ACA-induced increase in caspase-3 levels while enhancing claudin-1 protein and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mRNA expression in the colonic mucosa. Collectively, these results indicate that dietary supplementation with 0·1 % TBU alleviates ACA-induced intestinal injury possibly by inhibiting apoptosis, promoting tight-junction formation and activating EGFR signalling.
The present study was carried out to determine whether N-acetylcysteine (NAC) could modulate liver injury in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-challenged piglet model. For this purpose, eighteen piglets were randomly assigned to the control, LPS or NAC group. Piglets in the control and LPS groups were fed a basal diet, whereas those in the NAC group were fed the basal diet supplemented with 500 mg/kg NAC. On days 10, 13 and 20 of the trial, the LPS- and NAC-treated piglets were intraperitoneally administered LPS (100 μg/kg body weight), while the control group was administered the same volume of saline. On day 20 of the trial, blood samples were obtained 3 h after LPS or saline injection. On day 21, the piglets were killed to collect liver samples. Dietary NAC supplementation attenuated LPS-induced liver histomorphological abnormalities. Compared with the control group, in the LPS-challenged piglets, the activities of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase and the concentrations of H2O2, TNF-α, IL-6 and PGE2 were dramatically increased in the plasma and the activity of superoxide dismutase in the plasma and that of glutathione peroxidase in the liver were significantly decreased. The LPS challenge also increased the concentration of AMP and the ratio of AMP:ATP, but decreased adenylate energy charges and the levels of ATP and ADP. These adverse effects of the LPS challenge were ameliorated by NAC supplementation. Moreover, NAC inhibited the LPS-induced increases in the abundance of liver heat shock protein 70 and NF-κB proteins. In conclusion, these results suggest that dietary NAC supplementation alleviates LPS-induced liver injury by reducing the secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines, increasing the antioxidative capacity and improving energy metabolism.
The present study determined whether α-ketoglutarate (AKG) might affect the expression of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and energy status in the intestinal mucosa of piglets challenged with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS). A total of eighteen piglets (weaned at 21 d of age) were allocated to one of three treatments: (1) non-challenged (control); (2) LPS-challenged (LPS); (3) LPS+1 % AKG (LPS+AKG). Piglets in the control and LPS groups were fed a maize- and soyabean meal-based diet, and the LPS+AKG group was fed the basal diet supplemented with 1 % AKG. On days 10, 12, 14 and 16 of the trial, piglets in the LPS and LPS+AKG groups were challenged with LPS (80 μg/kg body weight), whereas piglets in the control group received the same volume of sterile saline. Pigs were euthanised 24 h after the last administration of LPS or saline to obtain intestinal mucosae for biochemical analysis. Compared with the control group, LPS administration decreased (P < 0·05) the oxidation of AKG, oleic acid, glutamine and glucose in enterocytes, decreased concentrations of ATP in the duodenal and jejunal mucosae and decreased adenylate energy charge (AMP:ATP ratio) in the jejunal and ileal mucosae. Additionally, LPS treatment reduced (P < 0·05) mucosal concentrations of phosphorylated AMPK in the jejunum and ileum as well as acetyl-CoA carboxylase in all segments of the small intestine. The adverse effects of LPS were reversed by AKG. Collectively, these results indicate that dietary supplementation with 1 % AKG beneficially modulates the AMPK signalling pathway to improve energy status in the small intestine of LPS-challenged piglets.
This study evaluated whether arginine (Arg) supplementation could attenuate gut injury induced by Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge through an anti-inflammatory role in weaned pigs. Pigs were allotted to four treatments including: (1) non-challenged control; (2) LPS-challenged control; (3) LPS+0·5 % Arg; (4) LPS+1·0 % Arg. On day 16, pigs were injected with LPS or sterile saline. At 6 h post-injection, pigs were killed for evaluation of small intestinal morphology and intestinal gene expression. Within 48 h of challenge, 0·5 % Arg alleviated the weight loss induced by LPS challenge (P = 0·025). In all three intestinal segments, 0·5 or 1·0 % Arg mitigated intestinal morphology impairment (e.g. lower villus height and higher crypt depth) induced by LPS challenge (P < 0·05), and alleviated the decrease of crypt cell proliferation and the increase of villus cell apoptosis after LPS challenge (P < 0·01). The 0·5 % Arg prevented the elevation of jejunal IL-6 mRNA abundance (P = 0·082), and jejunal (P = 0·030) and ileal (P = 0·039) TNF-α mRNA abundance induced by LPS challenge. The 1·0 % Arg alleviated the elevation of jejunal IL-6 mRNA abundance (P = 0·053) and jejunal TNF-α mRNA abundance (P = 0·003) induced by LPS challenge. The 0·5 % Arg increased PPARγ mRNA abundance in all three intestinal segments (P < 0·10), and 1·0 % Arg increased duodenal PPARγ mRNA abundance (P = 0·094). These results indicate that Arg supplementation has beneficial effects in alleviating gut mucosal injury induced by LPS challenge. Additionally, it is possible that the protective effects of Arg on the intestine are associated with decreasing the expression of intestinal pro-inflammatory cytokines through activating PPARγ expression.
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