Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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

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Lactulose as a marker of intestinal barrier function in pigs after weaning
Wijtten, P.J.A. ; Verstijnen, J.J. ; Kempen, T.A.T.G. van; Perdok, H.B. ; Gort, G. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2011
Journal of Animal Science 89 (2011)5. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 1347 - 1357.
bacterial translocation - villous height - weaned piglets - crypt depth - feed-intake - in-vitro - gut - permeability - dysfunction - malabsorption
Intestinal barrier function in pigs after weaning is almost exclusively determined in terminal experiments with Ussing chambers. Alternatively, the recovery in urine of orally administered lactulose can be used to assess intestinal permeability in living animals. This experiment was designed to study the barrier function of the small intestine of pigs over time after weaning. The aim was to relate paracellular barrier function (measured by lactulose recovery in the urine) with macromolecular transport [measured by horseradish peroxidase (HRP) using Ussing chambers] and bacterial translocation to assess whether lactulose recovery is related to possible causes of infection and disease. Forty gonadectomized male pigs (6.7 ± 0.6 kg) were weaned (d 0) at a mean age of 19 d, fitted with urine collection bags, and individually housed. Pigs were dosed by oral gavage with a marker solution containing lactulose (disaccharide) and the monosaccharides l-rhamnose, 3-O-methylglucose, and d-xylose at 2 h and at 4, 8, and 12 d after weaning. The recovery of sugars in the urine was determined over 18 h after each oral gavage. The day after each permeability test, the intestines of 10 pigs were dissected to determine bacterial translocation to the mesenteric lymph nodes and jejunal permeability for HRP in Ussing chambers. Recovery of l-rhamnose in urine was affected by feed intake and by the time after weaning (P = 0.05). Recovery of lactulose from the urine was greater (P = 0.05) at 4, 8, and 12 d after weaning compared with the first day after weaning and was negatively correlated with feed intake (r = -0.63, P = 0.001). The mean translocation of aerobic bacteria to the mesenteric lymph nodes was greater at 5 and 13 d after weaning compared with d 1 (P = 0.05). Lactulose recovery showed no correlation with permeability for HRP nor with bacterial translocation (P > 0.05). Although both lactulose recovery and bacterial translocation increased over time after weaning, lactulose recovery did not correlate with the permeability for HRP nor bacterial translocation within a pig (P > 0.05). Therefore, we conclude that lactulose recovery in the urine of pigs after weaning is not associated with risk factors for infections. However, it appears to be possible to measure paracellular barrier function with orally administered lactulose in pigs shortly after weaning. Further studies will reveal whether this variable is relevant for the long-term performance or health of pigs after weaning
Intestinal barrier function and absorption in pigs after waeaning: a review
Wijtten, P.J.A. ; Meulen, J. van der; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2011
The British journal of nutrition 105 (2011)7. - ISSN 0007-1145 - p. 967 - 981.
epithelium in-vitro - feed-intake - parenteral-nutrition - glucose-absorption - villous height - ion-transport - crypt depth - fatty-acids - weaned pig - piglets
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.
Increasing weaning age of piglets from 4 to 7 weeks reduces stress, increases post-weaning feed intake but does not improve intestinal functionality
Meulen, J. van der; Koopmans, S.J. ; Dekker, R.A. ; Hoogendoorn, A. - \ 2010
Animal 4 (2010)10. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 1653 - 1661.
enterotoxigenic escherichia-coli - net absorption - crypt depth - weaned pigs - villus height - performance - consequences - morphology - responses - behavior
This study tested the hypothesis that late weaning and the availability of creep feed during the suckling period compared with early weaning, improves feed intake, decreases stress and improves the integrity of the intestinal tract. In this study with 160 piglets of 16 litters, late weaning at 7 weeks of age was compared with early weaning at 4 weeks, with or without creep feeding during the suckling period, on post-weaning feed intake, plasma cortisol (as an indicator of stress) and plasma intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP; a marker for mild intestinal injury) concentrations, intestinal morphology, intestinal (macro)molecular permeability and intestinal fluid absorption as indicators of small intestinal integrity. Post-weaning feed intake was similar in piglets weaned at 4 weeks and offered creep feed or not, but higher (P <0.001) in piglets weaned at 7 weeks with a higher (P <0.05) intake for piglets offered creep feed compared with piglets from whom creep feed was witheld. Plasma cortisol response at the day of weaning was lower in piglets weaned at 7 weeks compared with piglets weaned at 4 weeks, and creep feed did not affect cortisol concentration. Plasma I-FABP concentration was not affected by the age of weaning and creep feeding. Intestinal (macro)molecular permeability was not affected by the age of weaning and creep feeding. Both in uninfected and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli-infected small intestinal segments net fluid absorption was not affected by the age of weaning or creep feeding. Creep feeding, but not the age of weaning, resulted in higher villi and increased crypt depth. In conclusion, weaning at 7 weeks of age in combination with creep feeding improves post-weaning feed intake and reduces weaning stress but does not improve functional characteristics of the small intestinal mucosa
Improving adaptation to weaning: Effect of intermittent suckling regimens on piglet feed intake, growth, and gut characteristics
Berkeveld, M. ; Langendijk, P. ; Soede, N.M. ; Kemp, B. ; Taverne, M.A.M. ; Verheijden, J.H.M. ; Kuijken, N. ; Koets, A.P. - \ 2009
Journal of Animal Science 87 (2009)10. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 3156 - 3166.
small-intestine - crypt depth - extended lactation - villous height - pigs - performance - citrulline - period
Daily separation of sows and piglets during lactation, intermittent suckling (IS), improves feed intake and postweaning adaptation in piglets. The aim of the current study was to determine how, in piglets that have been subjected to IS, age at weaning and the duration of the preceding IS period contribute to postweaning adaptation through effects on feed intake, growth, and gut characteristics. All piglets had ad libitum access to creep feed from d 7. Litters were subjected to conventional weaning (CW) or to 1 of 3 IS regimens. In CW, litters (n = 29) had continuous access to the sow until weaning (d 26, d 0 = farrowing). During IS, litters had access to the sow between 1600 and 0600 h. Litters in the IS treatments were subjected to IS 1) from d 19 onward and weaned at d 26 (IS19–7D, n = 33), 2) from d 19 onward and weaned at d 33 (IS19–14D, n = 28), or 3) from d 26 onward and weaned at d 33 (IS26–7D, n = 33). The IS19–7D regimen resulted in a relative growth check within the first 2 d after weaning similar to CW litters (72 ± 13 and 90 ± 7%, respectively), but in a greater piglet growth (P = 0.014) and feed intake (P = 0.001) between d 2 and 7 postweaning. Moreover, IS19–7D was not associated with a (further) reduction in villus height as observed at d 2 postweaning in CW litters. In IS piglets weaned after an extended lactation (d 33), a markedly smaller weaning-associated relative growth check was observed shortly postweaning (11 ± 18 and 32 ± 19% for IS19–14D and IS26–7D litters, respectively). In these litters, feed intake and growth within the first 2 d after weaning were slightly greater when piglets were subjected to IS for 2 wk (IS19–14D) rather than for 1 wk (IS26–7D; P = 0.032 and P = 0.037 for feed intake and growth, respectively). Irrespective of duration of IS, weaning at d 33 with IS was not associated with a reduction in villus height. Irrespective of treatment, plasma citrulline concentrations were reduced at d 2 and 8 postweaning compared with the values at weaning (P 0.01). No correlation was observed between postweaning plasma citrulline concentrations and postweaning small intestinal villus height. This study indicates that 1 wk of IS before weaning at d 26 of lactation improves feed intake and growth between d 2 and 7 postweaning and does not result in a reduction of villus height as observed in CW piglets, although it did not prevent a profound growth check shortly after weaning. However, combining 1 wk of IS with an extended lactation improved postweaning adaptation markedly in terms of growth, feed intake, and gut characteristics. Increasing the duration of IS from 1 to 2 wk slightly improved growth and feed intake shortly after weaning, but the contribution to postweaning adaptation seemed to be relatively small compared with extending lactation
Citrulline and intestinal fatty acid-binding protein: Longitudinal markers of postweaning small intestinal function in pigs?
Berkeveld, M. ; Langendijk, P. ; Verheijden, J.H.M. ; Taverne, M.A.M. ; Nes, A. van; Haard, P. van; Koets, A.P. - \ 2008
Journal of Animal Science 86 (2008)12. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 3440 - 3449.
enhanced expression - plasma citrulline - enterocyte mass - crypt depth - weaned pigs - feed-intake - piglets - glutamine - absorption - morphology
The objective of the current study was to investigate whether plasma citrulline or intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP) concentrations might be used as longitudinal markers for small intestinal function in piglets after weaning. Plasma citrulline and I-FABP concentrations were measured longitudinally in weaned and unweaned piglets, and related to intestinal absorption values (i.e., plasma mannitol and 3-xylose concentrations in a sugar absorption test). Within each litter (n = 10), 2 piglets with a close-to-litter-average BW were selected. At 20.8 ± 0.4 d of age, the selected piglets per litter were either weaned conventionally (CW) or remained with the sow (UNW). One day before, and 0.5, 2, 4, and 7 d after weaning of the CW piglets, the selected piglets of both groups were subjected to a sugar absorption test. After a 2-h fast, piglets were administered an oral dose of 2 mL/kg of sugar solution, containing 50 mg/kg of mannitol and 100 mg/kg of 3-xylose. One hour after administration, a blood sample was collected from a jugular vein for determination of plasma I-FABP, citrulline, mannitol, and 3-xylose concentrations. Plasma I-FABP concentration showed great variation within treatments, and no difference was observed in plasma I-FABP concentrations between the CW and UNW treatments (P = 0.63). The absorption of 3-xylose was not different between treatments (P = 0.83). Mannitol absorption, however, was less in the weaned CW piglets compared with the UNW piglets (P = 0.003), with the nadir on d 4 postweaning. Weaning also reduced plasma citrulline concentrations in the CW treatment compared with the UNW treatment (P <0.001). On d 4 and 7 postweaning, plasma citrulline concentrations of CW piglets were less (P <0.001 and P = 0.0013) than preweaning values. Furthermore, in the CW treatment, plasma citrulline concentrations correlated with plasma mannitol concentrations at d 4 postweaning (r = 0.89, P = 0.008) and overall (r = 0.76, P = 0.001). Based on these results, plasma citrulline concentration seems to be a possible marker for monitoring intestinal function in pigs after weaning.
Postweaning growth check in pigs is markedly reduced by intermittent suckling and extended lactation
Berkeveld, M. ; Langendijk, P. ; Beers-Schreurs, H.M.G. van; Koets, A.P. ; Taverne, M.A.M. ; Verheijden, J.H.M. - \ 2007
Journal of Animal Science 85 (2007)12. - ISSN 0021-8812 - p. 258 - 266.
feed-intake characteristics - digestive enzyme-activity - housed weanling pigs - early-weaned pig - small-intestine - boar exposure - crypt depth - performance - sows - consumption
The objective of this study was to determine whether intermittent suckling (IS) combined with an extended lactation can reduce postweaning growth check in pigs. Three weaning regimens [ conventional weaning (CW), IS with 6-h separation intervals (IS6), and IS with 12-h separation intervals (IS12)] were compared. In CW (n = 17 litters), litters had continuous access to the sow until weaning (d 21, d 0 = farrowing). In IS6 and IS12, litters were separated from the sow for 12 h/d, beginning at d 14 and lasting until weaning (d 41 to 45). Litters were with the sow from 1400 to 2000 and from 0200 to 0800 (IS6, n = 14) or between 2000 and 0800 (IS12, n = 14). Litter size was standardized within 2 d after farrowing by crossfostering, resulting in an average litter size of 10.9 +/- 1.8 piglets. Piglets had ad libitum access to creep feed from d 7 onward. One week after the onset of IS (d 20), creep feed intake was increased in litters from both IS groups compared with CW litters (P <0.05). Both IS groups consumed considerable amounts of creep feed before weaning (d 41 to 45). Total feed intake before weaning was greater (P = 0.004) in IS12 (3,808 +/- 469 g/ piglet) than in IS6 (2,717 +/- 404 g/ piglet). In comparison, CW litters consumed 18 +/- 9 g/ piglet before weaning (d 21). Irrespective of weaning regimen, total feed intake of litters before weaning was highly correlated with postweaning feed intake (P <0.001). Furthermore, in all treatment groups, total preweaning feed intake was correlated with postweaning growth (P <0.10). Irrespective of treatment, piglets suckling anterior teats grew faster than piglets suckling middle or posterior teats during the first 2 wk of lactation. Body weights at the end of the experiment (d 55) were similar among weaning regimens. Onset of IS induced a growth check in both IS groups (34% for IS12 and 22% for IS6). Only a mild growth check was observed after weaning of IS litters (14% for both IS groups). However, a serious growth check (98%) was observed after weaning of CW litters. Results of the current study indicate that IS stimulated feed intake during lactation, providing a more gradual transition to weaning. Because the IS6 regimen did not prevent the growth check after the onset of IS and is rather laborious, we suggest that IS12 might be preferable for a practical implementation of IS.
Effects of dietary fructo- oligosaccharide on villous height and disaccharidase activity of the small intestine, pH, VFA and ammonia concentrations in the large intestine of weaned pigs
Shim, S.B. ; Williams, I.H. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2005
Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section A-Animal Science 55 (2005)2-3. - ISSN 0906-4702 - p. 91 - 97.
crypt depth - cell-proliferation - villus height - piglets - inulin - fructooligosaccharides - digestion - supplementation - bifidobacteria - oligofructose
An experiment was conducted to investigate changes in the lumen and wall of the intestinal tract of weaned pigs caused by fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and consequences for growth. Twelve male pigs weaned at 24 days were individually housed and fed either control, 0.25% FOS, or 3% FOS diets for 21 days after weaning. The pH of chyme in the caecum and proximal colon were lower (p
Effect of dietary protein source on feed intake and small intestinal morphology in newly weaned piglets
Vente-Spreeuwenberg, M.A.M. ; Verdonk, J.M.A.J. ; Bakker, G.C.M. ; Beynen, A.C. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2004
Livestock Production Science 86 (2004)1-3. - ISSN 0301-6226 - p. 169 - 177.
soybean-meal - crypt depth - pigs - performance - age - height - creep
An experiment was designed to study the effect of dietary protein source on feed intake and on small intestinal morphology in newly weaned piglets. In total, 108 piglets were used, without access to creep feed during the suckling period. Piglets were weaned at 27 days of age. They were fed ad libitum one of two iso-nitrogenous experimental diets, which differed in their protein composition and contained either skim milk powder (SMP) or hydrolysed feather meal (FM), the latter component having low ileal protein digestibility. Diets contained equal amounts of indispensable amino acids. On day 4 postweaning, 18 piglets with a similar high feed intake were selected within each dietary treatment and sampled for small intestinal morphology on days 4, 7, or 14 postweaning. The dietary protein source did not affect feed intake during the first three days after weaning. From days 0 (day of weaning) to 2, the mean feed intake increased from 28.9 (S.D. 45.2) to 202.1 (S.D. 129.9) g day-1 piglet-1. In the second week, the feed intake of the selected piglets receiving the SMP diet was higher (P
Individually assessed creep food consumption by suckled piglets: influence on post-weaning food intake characteristics and indicators of gut structure and hind-gut fermentation
Bruininx, E.M.A.M. ; Schellingerhout, A.B. ; Binnendijk, G.P. ; Peet-Schwering, C.M.C. van der; Schrama, J.W. ; Hartog, L.A. den; Everts, H. ; Beynen, A.C. - \ 2004
Animal Science 78 (2004)1. - ISSN 1357-7298 - p. 67 - 75.
housed weanling pigs - feed-intake characteristics - villous height - crypt depth - weaned pigs - performance - weight - growth - diet
Individual food intake characteristics and indicators of gut physiology of group-housed weanling pigs were measured in relation to pre-weaning consumption of creep food. Additionally, the effects of creep food consumption on pre-weaning body weight and gain were assessed. A total of 48 litters was used in two trials. From 11 days of age until weaning (day 28), all 48 litters were given a creep food (12.7 MJ net energy (NE) per kg, 15.2 g lysine per kg) supplemented with 10 g chromium III oxide per kg. Piglets showing green-coloured faeces on three sampling days were designated as good eaters, whereas piglets that never showed green faeces were labelled as non-eaters. Piglets having green faeces once or twice were designated as moderate eaters. Based on availability, body weight, litter origin, genotype and gender 29 good eaters, 32 moderate eaters and 29 non-eaters were selected in the first trial. In the second trial there were 30 good eaters, 33 moderate eaters, and 27 non-eaters. In each trial eight piglets of each creep-food eating type were immediately killed to serve as a reference group. The remaining piglets of each eating type were weaned and placed in pens equipped with computerized feeding stations so that distributions of body weight, litter origin, and gender were similar within pens. In each trial, eight pigs of each eating type were killed 5 days after weaning in order to determine villous heights and crypt depths in the proximal small intestine and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations in the colon. While being suckled, body weight was not related to the pre-weaning consumption of creep food (P > 0.1) whereas average daily gain of the good eaters during the creep feeding period was higher (P <0.05) than that of the moderate and non-eaters. Both morphology measures and VFA concentrations on the day of weaning were unaffected (P > 0.1) by the pre-weaning food consumption. After weaning, food intake and gain of the total group of good eaters were higher (P <0.05) than that of the non-eaters, whereas villous height and villous height : crypt depth ratios did not differ (P > 0.1). Neither total VFA concentration nor the proportion of branched-chain VFA were affected by creep food consumption while being suckled. Total VFA concentration in the colon was positively associated with body-weight gain (P <0.001). This study confirms earlier findings that consumption of creep food while being suckled stimulates food intake and growth after weaning. However, the beneficial effects were not associated with a prevention of damage to morphology of the small intestine.
Interrelationship between gut morphology and faeces consistency in newly weaned piglets
Vente-Spreeuwenberg, M.A.M. ; Verdonk, J.M.A.J. ; Beynen, A.C. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. - \ 2003
Animal Science 77 (2003)1. - ISSN 1357-7298 - p. 85 - 94.
digestive enzyme-activity - small-intestine - brush-border - crypt depth - feed-intake - pig - age - performance - diarrhea - diet
A total of 104 weanling piglets was used to study the interrelationships between faeces consistency and mucosal integrity, as assessed by specific aminopeptidase and isomaltase-sucrase activity, villus height and crypt depth. Piglets were weaned at 26 (s.d. 1.4) days of age, weighing 84 (s.d. 0.70) kg. On the day of weaning (day 0), dissection was performed on one group of eight piglets. The remaining piglets were given restricted amounts of diets containing different protein sources. However, during the first 7 days post weaning 72% of the piglets ate on average less than 0.9 of the amount offered and thus actually had ad libitum access to food. On days 3 or 7 post weaning pigs were weighed and euthanased. Diet composition did not effect small intestine integrity and the data were pooled for further analysis. The weight of the stomach, large intestine and pancreas increased with time post weaning (P <0.001). Small intestine weight decreased from day 0 to 3 and was increased again on day 7, exceeding the pre-weaning value (P <0.001). Isomaltase-sucrase and aminopeptidase activities were decreased on days 3 and 7 when compared with day 0. Villus height was decreased after weaning, followed by an increase on day 7 post weaning at the proximal small intestine, but by a further decrease at the mid small intestine (P <0.001). Crypt depth was increased after weaning (P <0.001). Faeces consistency was scored twice a day on a scale from 0 to 3 with increasing liquid nature. The average percentage of days during which piglets had more-liquid faeces was 26%. During the 1st week post weaning, 73% of the piglets showed a faeces score of 2 during at least 1 day. Villus height was positively correlated with food intake level, brush-border enzyme activity and dry matter content of the chyme. Villus height was negatively correlated with more-liquid faeces. Crypt depth was positively associated with the weight of various parts of the gastro-intestinal tract. It is concluded that this study supports the concept that food intake by weaned piglets determines villus height in the small intestine and brush-border enzyme production which in turn determine the risk of diarrhoea development
Villus height and gut development in weaned piglets receiving diets containing either glucose, lactose or starch
Vente-Spreeuwenberg, M.A.M. ; Verdonk, J.M.A.J. ; Verstegen, M.W.A. ; Beynen, A.C. - \ 2003
The British journal of nutrition 90 (2003)5. - ISSN 0007-1145 - p. 907 - 913.
small-intestine - crypt depth - feed-intake - pigs - performance - age
The present study was designed to evaluate the differential effects of dietary glucose, lactose and starch on small-intestinal morphology, organ weights, pH of chyme and haptoglobin levels in blood plasma of weaned piglets. It was hypothesised that lactose consumption would ameliorate the weaning-induced decrease in gut integrity. A total of forty-two barrows were used. Piglets were weaned at 27 (sd 0·8) d of age and weighed 8·0 (sd 0·51) kg. On the day before weaning (day -1) all pigs were blocked according to body weight and randomly assigned to seven groups (n 6 per group). The groups differed in diet and day of dissection. On the day of weaning, dissection was performed on one group of six piglets. The remaining groups were fed one of three experimental diets in which glucose, lactose or starch had been iso-energetically exchanged, supplying 24 % dietary energy. The piglets received a liquid diet (air-dry meal:water of 1:2, w/w). The piglets were given access to a maximum of dietary energy in order to prevent confounding between feed intake and villus architecture. The piglets were dissected and sampled on days 0, 3, or 10 post-weaning. The results show that the carbohydrate source did not affect growth performance, organ weights, villus architecture, pH of chyme and plasma haptoglobin level. The weaning transition resulted in decreased villus height and increased haptoglobin levels. In the contents of the caecum and large intestine, the pH decreased after weaning. It is concluded that at least under conditions of similar feed intake and low infectious pressure, dietary lactose does not ameliorate the weaning-induced compromise of small-intestinal integrity when compared with either glucose or starch.
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