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Journal of Animal Science Abstract - Animal Nutrition

Effect of dietary copper amount and source on copper metabolism and oxidative stress of weanling pigs in short-term feeding1


This article in JAS

  1. Vol. 93 No. 6, p. 2948-2955
    Received: May 21, 2014
    Accepted: Mar 29, 2015
    Published: May 29, 2015

    3 Corresponding author(s):

  1. Y. L. Huang*,
  2. M. S. Ashwell,
  3. R. S. Fry22,
  4. K. E Lloyd,
  5. W. L. Flowers and
  6. J. W. Spears 3
  1. * College of Life Science and Technology, Southwest University for Nationalities, Chengdu, China 610041
     Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695


Forty-eight weanling barrows were used to determine the effects of amount and source of dietary Cu on Cu metabolism, oxidative stress in the duodenum, and VFA ratios in the cecum of weanling pigs in short-term feeding. At 21 d of age, newly weaned pigs were stratified by BW (7.03 ± 1.20 kg) and equally assigned to 1 of the following dietary treatments: 1) control (5 mg supplemental Cu/kg diet from CuSO4), 2) 225 mg supplemental Cu/kg diet from CuSO4, or 3) 225 mg supplemental Cu/kg diet from tribasic Cu chloride (TBCC). Pigs were housed 2 pigs per pen and were fed a complex diet until harvest on d 11 and 12. During harvest, bile and liver were obtained for mineral analysis, and liver samples were obtained for analysis of mRNA expression of Cu regulatory proteins. Digesta of duodenum, proximal jejunum, and ileum were collected for soluble Cu analysis. Mucosal scrapings of duodenum, proximal jejunum, and ileum were obtained for analysis of mucosal Cu concentration and mRNA expression of Cu regulatory proteins. Duodenal mucosal scrapings were also collected for analysis of malondialdehyde (MDA). Pigs fed high Cu had markedly greater (P < 0.0001) Cu concentrations in the duodenal, proximal jejunal, and ileal mucosa than controls. Copper in the duodenal mucosa was greater (P = 0.003) in CuSO4 than TBCC pigs. Duodenal MDA concentrations were greater (P = 0.003) in CuSO4 vs. control pigs and tended (P = 0.06) to be greater than in TBCC pigs. Duodenal antioxidant 1 (Atox1) mRNA was downregulated (P < 0.01) in pigs fed high Cu compared to controls and was not affected by Cu source. Compared with control pigs, those fed CuSO4 and TBCC had greater (P < 0.001) liver and bile Cu concentrations. Liver Cu was also greater (P = 0.0007) in TBCC than CuSO4-fed pigs. Hepatic Cu transporting β-polypeptide ATPase (Atp7b) was upregulated (P = 0.02) in the Cu-supplemented pigs compared with controls and did not differ among Cu sources. The acetate:propionate ratio in cecal contents was much greater in pigs supplemented with 225 mg Cu/kg diet than in controls. When fed at 225 mg Cu/kg diet, TBCC may cause less oxidative stress in the duodenum than CuSO4. Feeding weanling pigs increased Cu resulted in modulation of duodenal Atox1 and liver Atp7b at the transcription level.

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