Functional amino acids in the development of the pig placenta. Academic Article uri icon


  • The mammalian placenta is essential for supplying nutrients (e.g., amino acids and water) and oxygen from the mother to fetus and for removing fetal metabolites (e.g., ammonia and CO2 ) from fetus to mother. Thus, placental growth and development are determinants of fetal survival, growth, and development. Indeed, low birth weight is closely associated with reduced placental growth. Providing gestating gilts or sows with dietary supplementation of arginine and glutamine, increases placental growth (including vascular growth), improves embryonic/fetal growth and survival, and reduces the large variation in birth weight among litters. These two amino acids serve as building blocks for tissue protein as well as substrates for the production of polyamines and nitric oxide, which stimulate DNA and protein synthesis and angiogenesis and vascular growth in the placenta. These recent findings not only greatly advance the field of mammalian amino acid metabolism and nutrition, but also provide practical, mechanism-based methods to enhance reproductive efficiency in swine. These results may also help improve embryonic/fetal survival and growth in other livestock species (e.g., sheep and cattle) and in humans.

published proceedings

  • Mol Reprod Dev

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, G., Bazer, F. W., Johnson, G. A., Herring, C., Seo, H., Dai, Z., ... Wang, X.

citation count

  • 51

complete list of authors

  • Wu, Guoyao||Bazer, Fuller W||Johnson, Gregory A||Herring, Cassandra||Seo, Heewon||Dai, Zhaolai||Wang, Junjun||Wu, Zhenlong||Wang, Xiaolong

publication date

  • September 2017