1st Page



This article in

  1. Vol. 84 No. 9, p. 2374-2381
    Received: Oct 07, 2004
    Accepted: Apr 05, 2006
    Published: December 8, 2014

    2 Corresponding author(s):


Effects of β-glucan extracted from Saccharomyces cerevisiae on growth performance, and immunological and somatotropic responses of pigs challenged with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide1

  1. J. Li,
  2. D. F. Li2,
  3. J. J. Xing,
  4. Z. B. Cheng and
  5. C. H. Lai
  1. National Feed Engineering Technology Research Center, State Key Laboratory on Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China


Three experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of β-glucan supplementation on pig performance and immune function. In Exp. 1, 100 weaned pigs (8.65 ± 0.42 kg of BW and 28 ± 2 d of age) were used in a 35-d experiment to determine the effects of graded levels of β-glucan. Pigs were randomly allotted to 1 of 5 treatments containing β-glucan supplemented at 0, 25, 50, 100, or 200 ppm. Each treatment was replicated using 5 pens containing 4 pigs per pen. The ADG of pigs between d 14 to 28 and d 0 to 28 responded to dietary β-glucan in a quadratic fashion (P < 0.05), whereas β-glucan had no effect on ADFI and G:F in any period. In Exp. 2, 80 crossbred pigs (8.23 ± 0.56 kg of BW and 28 ± 2 d of age) were used in a 35-d experiment. Pigs were allotted to 1 of 2 dietary treatments (0 or 50 ppm of β-glucan in the diet) using 10 pens with 4 pigs per pen. Pigs treated with β-glucan had greater ADG in the 14- to 28-d (P = 0.05) and 0-to 28-d (P = 0.035) periods. The ADFI of pigs receiving β-glucan was increased (P < 0.05) in the periods from 0 to 14, 0 to 28, and 28 to 35 d. The lymphocyte proliferation index in response to phytohemagglutinin (P = 0.051) and concanavalin A (P = 0.052) tended to decrease on d 14 in pigs supplemented with β-glucan compared with pigs without supplementation. In Exp. 3, 24 barrows (8.89 ± 0.20 kg of BW and 28 d of age) were used to investigate the immunological and somatotropic responses of pigs challenged with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Experimental treatments were arranged in a 2 × 2 factorial, with the main effects of LPS challenge (saline vs. LPS) and dietary addition of β-glucan (0 vs. 50 ppm). Pigs were raised individually in metabolic cages. Pigs were fed 0 or 50 ppm of β-glucan for 28 d and then challenged with LPS (25 μg/kg of BW) or saline. After LPS injection, blood was obtained at 0, 1.5, 3, 4.5, 6, and 7.5 h to determine cytokine production and the somatotropic response. Dietary β-glucan increased plasma interleukin-6 at 1.5, 3, and 4.5 h and tumor necrosis factor-α at 3 and 4.5 h and increased plasma interleukin-10 from 3 to 7.5 h after LPS challenge. The β-glucan treatments had no effect on growth hormone. In conclusion, β-glucan can selectively influence performance and partially offer benefits on somatotropic axis and immune function in weaned piglets challenged with LPS.

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