Dietary l-glutamine supplementation improves pregnancy outcome in mice infected with type-2 porcine circovirus Academic Article uri icon


  • Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) causes reproductive failure in swine. As glutamine can enhance immune function in animals, this study was conducted with mice to test the hypothesis that dietary glutamine supplementation will improve pregnancy outcome in PCV2-infected dams. Beginning on day 0 of gestation, mice were fed a standard diet supplemented with 1.0% L-glutamine or 1.22% L-alanine (isonitrogenous control). All mice were infected with PCV2 (2000 TCID50) on day 10 of gestation. On day 17 of gestation, six mice from each group were euthanized to obtain maternal tissues and fetuses for hematology and histopathology tests. The remaining mice continued to receive their respective diets supplemented with 1.0% L-glutamine or 1.22% L-alanine through lactation. The PCV2 virus was present in maternal samples (serum and lung) of most mice in the control group but was not detected in the glutamine-supplemented mice. Dietary glutamine supplementation reduced abortion, decreased fetal deaths, and enhanced neonatal survival. The glutamine treatment also reduced concentrations of interleukin-6, while increasing concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α and C-reactive protein, in the maternal serum of mice. Furthermore, glutamine supplementation attenuated microscopic lesions in maternal tissues (lung, spleen, and liver). Collectively, these results indicate that dietary glutamine supplementation is beneficial for ameliorating reproductive failure in virus-infected mice. The findings support the notion that gestating dams require adequate amounts of dietary glutamine for the optimal survival and growth of embryos, fetuses, and neonates, and have important implications for nutritional support of mammals (including swine and humans) during gestation and lactation.

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Ren, W., Luo, W., Wu, M., Liu, G., Yu, X., Fang, J., ... Wu, G.

citation count

  • 62
  • 65

publication date

  • November 2011