Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Protective effects of taurine on growth performance and intestinal epithelial barrier function in weaned piglets challenged without or with lipopolysaccharide

Zhiru Tang A B C , Jinyan Liu A , Zhihong Sun A , Jinlong Li A , Weizhong Sun A , Junxia Mao A and Yao Wang A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Key Laboratory for Bio-feed and Animal Nutrition, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, P. R. China.

B College of Animal Science and Technology, Southwest University, Tiansheng Road 2, Beibei District, Chongqing, 400715, P. R. China.

C Corresponding author. Email: tangzhiru2326@sina.com.cn

Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN16249
Submitted: 19 April 2016  Accepted: 28 May 2017   Published online: 23 October 2017

Abstract

We evaluated whether weaned piglets were protected from bacterial endotoxins by placing the animals on a taurine-supplemented diet. A total of 40 weaned Landrace × Yorkshire piglets (5.75 ± 0.58 kg, weaned at 21 days) were allocated to four groups with 10 barrows per group, following a 2 × 2 factorial design with two inclusion levels of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (no or one time peritoneal injection by the dose of 100 µg/kg bodyweight on Day 7 of the trial) and two inclusion levels of dietary taurine (no or 0.1% taurine in a basal diet in the whole trial). There was a significant interaction between LPS and taurine with regard to growth and small intestinal mucosal membrane integrity, morphology, immune parameters, and antioxidant capacity (P < 0.05). Feed conversion, daily weight gain, daily feed intake, villus height, and the villus to crypt ratio, vascular endothelial growth factor, regenerating islet-derived protein 3 gamma, trefoil factor-3, transforming growth factor β-1 expression, number of goblet cells and the least amount of claudin-1, occludin, zonula occludens-1, serum glutathione peroxidase, nitrogen oxide synthase, superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, and total antioxidant was lowest in LPS-challenged animals. Furthermore, animals in the LPS group had the highest serum diamine oxidase concentration, number of lymphocytes, concentrations of calprotectin, sIgA, toll-like receptor-4, mRNA levels of interleukin-1β, interleukin-8, toll-like receptor-4, and tumour necrosis factor-α (P < 0.05). These data suggested that the peritoneal injection administration of LPS decreased growth performance and disrupted small intestinal mucosal membrane integrity and triggered an inflammatory response in the small intestinal mucosal membrane. Dietary administration of taurine improved growth performance, increased small intestinal villus height, stimulated immune and antioxidant function and improved small intestinal mucosal membrane integrity in weaned piglets challenged without or with LPS (P < 0.05). The beneficial effects of taurine were likely due to decreased stimulation of the immune response to LPS and an improvement in intestinal epithelial barrier function. Dietary administration of taurine could prevent weaned piglets from intestinal damage by LPS of Gram-negative bacteria.

Additional keywords: anti-inflammatory response, antioxidant function, functional amino acid, intestinal health, intestinal mucous membrane integrity.


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