TRIENNIAL GROWTH SYMPOSIUM: Important roles for l-glutamine in swine nutrition and production12
F. W. Bazer*,
G. A. Johnson*,
D. A. Knabe*,
R. C. Burghardt*,
T. E. Spencer*,
X. L. Li* and
J. J. Wang*†
Departments of Animal Science and of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843; and State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China 100193
l-Glutamine (Gln) has traditionally not been considered a nutrient needed in diets for livestock species or even mentioned in classic animal nutrition textbooks. This is due to previous technical difficulties in Gln analysis and the unsubstantiated assumption that animals can synthesize sufficient amounts of Gln to meet their needs. Consequently, the current (1998) version of NRC does not recommend dietary Gln requirements for swine. This lack of knowledge about Gln nutrition has contributed to suboptimal efficiency of global pig production. Because of recent advances in research, Gln is now known to be an abundant AA in physiological fluids and proteins and a key regulator of gene expression. Additionally, Gln can regulate cell signaling via the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway, adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, extracellular signal-related kinase, Jun kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and nitric oxide. The exquisite integration of Gln-dependent regulatory networks has profound effects on cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, metabolism, homeostasis, survival, and function. As a result of translating basic research into practice, dietary supplementation with 1% Gln maintains gut health and prevents intestinal dysfunction in low-birth-weight or early-weaned piglets while increasing their growth performance and survival. In addition, supplementing 1% Gln to a corn- and soybean-meal-based diet between d 90 and 114 of gestation ameliorates fetal growth retardation in gilts and reduces preweaning mortality of piglets. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with 1% Gln enhances milk production by lactating sows. Thus, adequate amounts of dietary Gln, a major nutrient, are necessary to support the maximum growth, development, and production performance of swine.
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