Dietary supplementation with l-arginine or N-carbamylglutamate enhances intestinal growth and heat shock protein-70 expression in weanling pigs fed a corn- and soybean meal-based diet Academic Article uri icon


  • This study determined effects of dietary supplementation with L-arginine (Arg) or N-carbamylglutamate (NCG) on intestinal health and growth in early-weaned pigs. Eighty-four Landrace x Yorkshire pigs (average body weight of 5.56+/-0.07 kg; weaned at 21 days of age) were fed for 7 days one of the three isonitrogenous diets: (1) a corn- and soybean meal-based diet (CSM), (2) CSM+0.08% NCG (0.08%), and (3) CSM+0.6% Arg. There were four pens of pigs per diet (7 pigs/pen). At the end of a 7-day feeding period, six piglets were randomly selected from each treatment for tissue collections. Compared with the control group, Arg or NCG supplementation increased (P<0.05): (1) Arg concentrations in plasma, (2) small-intestinal growth, (3) villus height in duodenum, jejunum and ileum, (4) crypt depth in jejunum and ileum, (5) goblet cell counts in intestinal mucosae, and (6) whole-body weight gain in pigs. Real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blotting analyses revealed that both mRNA and protein levels for heat shock protein-70 (HSP70) were higher (P<0.05) in the intestinal mucosae of Arg- or NCG-supplemented pigs than in the control group. Furthermore, the incidence of diarrhea in the NCG group was 18% lower (P<0.01) than that in the control group. Collectively, these results indicate that dietary supplementation with 0.6% Arg or 0.08% NCG enhances intestinal HSP70 gene expression, intestinal growth and integrity, and the availability of dietary nutrients for whole-body weight gain in postweaning pigs fed a CSM-based diet. Thus, Arg or NCG is a functional ingredient in the weaning diet to improve nutrition, health, and growth performance of these neonates.

author list (cited authors)

  • Wu, X., Ruan, Z., Gao, Y., Yin, Y., Zhou, X., Wang, L., ... Wu, G.

citation count

  • 110
  • 116

publication date

  • March 2010