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Neonatal oxytocin administration and supplemental milk ameliorate the weaning transition and alter hormonal expression in the gastrointestinal tract in pigs

Rault, J-L, Ferrari, J., Pluske, J.R. and Dunshea, F.R. (2015) Neonatal oxytocin administration and supplemental milk ameliorate the weaning transition and alter hormonal expression in the gastrointestinal tract in pigs. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 51 . pp. 19-26.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.domaniend.2014.11.001
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Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the influences of milk supplementation during lactation, over 1wk after weaning, and oxytocin administration for the first 14d of life on the pigs' response to weaning. Pigs from 20 litters were allocated to each of these 3 treatments in a randomized factorial design. Oxytocin was administered subcutaneously daily from 0 to 14d of age at a rate of 10 I.U. per kg. The milk supplement consisted of a mixture of 25% skim milk powder offered either during lactation between 10 and 20d of age or for the first week after weaning as a transitional dietalong with dry pellets. Pigs were weaned at 21d of age. Growth rate was measured from birth to slaughter at 140d of age and feed intake of supplemental milk or feed from 10 to 56d of age. Organ weights (heart, liver, stomach, and kidneys) and the gene expression of ghrelin, leptin, and glucagon-like peptides (glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucagon-like peptide-2) were measured in the stomach, ileum, and duodenum at 10, 21, and 28d of age. Milk supplementation after weaning resulted in immediate feed intake and partially alleviated the depression in growth rate over the first 7d postweaning (P < 0.001), but milk supplementation during lactation had no effects (P > 0.1). However, effects were only transient and disappeared once the milk liquid diet was removed. Neonatal oxytocin administration reduced weight loss over the first 2d after weaning (P = 0.03), without affecting feed intake (P > 0.1), hence possibly reducing weaning stress. Seven days after weaning, oxytocin-treated pigs had greater stomach ghrelin and leptin expression (both P = 0.02), and pigs supplemented with milk after weaning had greater stomach leptin and glucagon-like peptide-2 expression (P = 0.02 and P = 0.05, respectively). Hence, neonatal oxytocin administration or postweaning milk supplementation are both effective means of enhancing gastric leptin expression and reducing weight loss at weaning, likely improving gut health during this critical period.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Copyright: © 2015 Elsevier Inc.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24787
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