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

Zhiru Tang , Jinyan Liu , Zhihong SUN , Jinlong Li , Weizhong Sun , Junxia Mao , Yao Wang

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-d) were allocated to 4 groups with 10 barrows per group, following a 2 × 2 factorial design with 2 inclusion levels of LPS (no or one time peritoneal injection by the dose of 100 µg/kg BW on d 7 of the trial) and 2 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 radio, vascular endothelial growth factor, regenerating islet-derived protein 3 gamma, trefoil factor -3, transforming growth factor beta-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 (TLR)-4, mRNA levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-8, TLR-4, and tumor 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 lipopolysaccharide (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.

AN16249  Accepted 28 May 2017

© CSIRO 2017