Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 408221
Title Intestinal barrier function and absorption in pigs after waeaning: a review
Author(s) Wijtten, P.J.A.; Meulen, J. van der; Verstegen, M.W.A.
Source British Journal of Nutrition 105 (2011)7. - ISSN 0007-1145 - p. 967 - 981.
Department(s) Animal Nutrition
LR - Backoffice
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2011
Keyword(s) epithelium in-vitro - feed-intake - parenteral-nutrition - glucose-absorption - villous height - ion-transport - crypt depth - fatty-acids - weaned pig - piglets
Abstract Under commercial conditions, weaning of piglets is associated with social, environmental and dietary stress. Consequently, small-intestinal barrier and absorptive functions deteriorate within a short time after weaning. Most studies that have assessed small-intestinal permeability in pigs after weaning used either Ussing chambers or orally administered marker probes. Paracellular barrier function and active absorption decrease when pigs are weaned at 3 weeks of age or earlier. However, when weaned at 4 weeks of age or later, the barrier function is less affected, and active absorption is not affected or is increased. Weaning stress is a critical factor in relation to the compromised paracellular barrier function after weaning. Adequate feed intake levels after weaning prevent the loss of the intestinal barrier function. Transcellular transport of macromolecules and passive transcellular absorption decrease after weaning. This may reflect a natural intestinal maturation process that is enhanced by the weaning process and prevents the pig from an antigen overload. It seems that passive and active absorption after weaning adapt accurately to the new environment when pigs are weaned after 3 weeks of age. However, when weaned at 3 weeks of age or earlier, the decrease in active absorption indicates that pigs are unable to sufficiently adapt to the new environment. To improve weaning strategies, future studies should distinguish whether the effect of feed intake on barrier function can be directed to a lack of a specific nutrient, i.e. energy or protein.
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