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Feeding lactating primiparous sows to establish three divergent metabolic states: II. Effect on nitrogen partitioning and skeletal muscle composition

Clowes, E.J., Williams, I.H., Baracos, V.E., Pluske, J.R., Cegielski, A.C., Zak, L.J. and Aherne, F.X. (1998) Feeding lactating primiparous sows to establish three divergent metabolic states: II. Effect on nitrogen partitioning and skeletal muscle composition. Journal of Animal Science, 76 (4). pp. 1154-1164.

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Abstract

We established an experimental model to study nitrogen (N) partitioning in lactating primiparous sows alimented to three levels of nutrient intake. Thirty-six sows fitted with a gastric cannula and fed a 15.4 MJ DE/kg and 18.6% CP diet were allocated to one of three treatments after farrowing: 1) ad libitum-fed; 2) restricted-fed to 55% of the ad libitum feed intake; and 3) superalimented to at least 125% of the ad libitum feed intake. These feed intakes were successfully achieved throughout lactation. Nitrogen balance was studied for three 5-d periods starting on d 2, 11, and 19 of lactation, and a triceps muscle biopsy was taken on d 26. For all treatments, N intake increased, milk N production increased, urinary N losses decreased, but fecal N losses increased as the 28-d lactation progressed. Restricted-fed sows had the lowest fecal N and urinary losses and mobilized the most maternal protein (-23.0 vs -7.4 +/- 6.5 g N/d for ad libitum-fed sows) during lactation. As a consequence of these economies, and extensive protein mobilization, restricted-fed sows were able to maintain milk N production similar to that of sows on the other treatments. Superalimented sows did not mobilize protein, had the poorest protein digestibility, directed the least digestible N toward milk (40.1 vs 78.3% in restricted-fed sows), and produced amounts of milk N similar to those produced by sows on the other treatments. The treatment differences in N retention measured by N balance were reflected in differences in skeletal muscle variables and urinary creatinine. Skeletal muscle cell size (protein:DNA ratio) and protein synthetic capacity (RNA:DNA ratio) increased in response to feed intake. The protein:DNA ratio increased (P < .01) linearly and the RNA:DNA ratio increased (P < .05) in a curvilinear manner. These data suggest that primiparous sows partition additional retained N toward their maternal reserves rather than milk N. They also suggest that sows fed inadequate N intakes maintain milk production by mobilizing maternal protein reserves. Such sows also conserve maternal N during lactation, possibly by reducing muscle protein synthesis.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: American Society of Animal Science
Copyright: © 1998 by American Society of Animal Science
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2791
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