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Role of the gut, melanocortin system and malonyl-CoA in control of feed intake in non-ruminant animals

Dunshea, F.R., Bittner, E.P., Pluske, J.R.ORCID: 0000-0002-7194-2164 and Black, J.L. (2018) Role of the gut, melanocortin system and malonyl-CoA in control of feed intake in non-ruminant animals. Animal Production Science, 58 (4). pp. 627-639.

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Regulation of feed intake is under complex control, involving physical, chemical, hormonal and neuronal responses. Understanding the regulation of feed intake in farm animals is key to optimisation of intake to meet production and profitability goals. Fundamental mechanisms regulating feed intake include constraints imposed by the gut, systems monitoring current and long-term energy status to increase or decrease intake, and hedonic, reward-related drives. Feed intake is closely related to the rate of passage of digesta and the capacity of the gastrointestinal tract. Indigestible fibre increases the rate of digesta passage and feed intake until excess distension sends signals of satiety to the brain. The presence of partially digested nutrients and products of microbial fermentation in the distal intestines releases peptides (PYY, OXM, GPL-1, Apo A-IV, amylin) from gut and pancreas to activate the intestinal brake, which slows the rate of passage and reduces feed intake. These peptides also act on orexigenic (NPY, AgRP) and anorexigenic (POMC, CART) peptides of the melanocortin system of the hypothalamus to reduce intake over the long term. Immediate energy status of the animal is monitored through the ratio of AMP:ATP via adenosine monophosphate-activated kinase and mammalian target of rapamycin, whereas the overall animal energy status is monitored by insulin, leptin and ghrelin. These energy-monitoring systems control short- and long-term intakes through the melanocortin system of the hypothalamus, primarily via malonyl-CoA, to alter the relative expression of orexigenic and anorexigenic peptides. Gut and hypothalamic control of feed intake can be over-ridden by hedonic, reward-related centres of the brain, predominantly through the release of dopamine. These hedonic responses can lead to over-consumption and obesity under some circumstances or reduced feed intake under stressful or other negative environmental situations. Knowledge of these mechanisms can be used to identify practical strategies for either increasing or decreasing voluntary intake in pigs.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: CSIRO
Copyright: © 2018 CSIRO
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