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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Development of an antioxidant system after early weaning in piglets2


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 92 No. 2, p. 612-619
    Received: Aug 01, 2013
    Accepted: Nov 18, 2013
    Published: November 24, 2014

    1 Corresponding author(s):

  1. J. Yin*†,
  2. M. M. Wu*†,
  3. H. Xiao*†,
  4. W. K. Ren*†,
  5. J. L. Duan*†,
  6. G. Yang,
  7. T. J. Li 1 and
  8. Y. L. Yin 1
  1. Scientific Observing and Experimental Station of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science in South-Central China, Ministry of Agriculture, Hunan Provincial Engineering Research Center of Healthy Livestock, Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha, Hunan 410125, China
    University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039, China
    School of Food Science, Washington State University, Pullman 99164


The objective of this experiment was to investigate oxidative injury and the development of an antioxidant system after early weaning in piglets. A total of 40 piglets (Landrace× Large White, weaned at 14 d after birth) were randomly slaughtered 0 (w0d), 1 (w1d), 3 (w3d), 5 (w5d), or 7 d (w7d; n = 8) after weaning. Concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA), 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), and protein carbonyl and the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), and catalase were measured in plasma. Gene expressions of antioxidant enzymes were determined by quantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis. The mediation of transcription factor 65 (p65) and the nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathways by oxidative stress was determined by Western blot analysis. Results showed that the plasma MDA level was significantly higher at 3 d (P < 0.05) and that the protein carbonyl level increased at 1, 3, and 5 d (P < 0.05) compared with w0d. In addition, early weaning suppressed the plasma activity of SOD at 1 d (P < 0.05) and reduced the GSH-Px activity at 3 d (P < 0.05). The expression results in the jejunum indicate that the genes related to antioxidant enzymes were downregulated (P < 0.05) at 3 and 5 d after weaning. Uncoupling protein 2 (Ucp2), which is considered to be a feedback regulation on reactive oxygen species generation, tended to decrease in the ileum (P < 0.05) after weaning. Tumor protein 53 (p53), which regulates reactive oxygen species generation, was enhanced (P < 0.05) in the jejunum after weaning. Meanwhile, early weaning suppressed p65 (at 3, 5, and 7 d; P < 0.05) and Nrf2 (at 5 and 7 d; P < 0.05) signals in the jejunum, which might feedback-regulate antioxidant gene expression and promote the development of the antioxidant system. Therefore, we speculate that weaning disrupted oxidative balance and caused oxidative injury in piglets, and this imbalance can recover with the development of an antioxidant system via feedback regulation.

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