Dietary L-arginine supplementation during days 14-25 of gestation enhances aquaporin expression in the placentae and endometria of gestating gilts.
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This study tested the hypothesis that dietaryL-arginine (Arg) supplementation to pregnant gilts enhanced theexpression of water channel proteins [aquaporins (AQPs)] in their placentae and endometria. Gilts were fed twice daily 1kg of a corn and soybean meal-based diet supplemented with 0.0%, 0.4%, or 0.8% Arg between Days 14 and 25 of gestation. On Days 25 and 60 of gestation, gilts were hysterectomized to obtain placentae and endometria. On Day 25 of gestation, supplementation with 0.4% Arg increased (P<0.05) the abundance of placental AQP9 protein, whereas supplementation with 0.8% Arg increased (P<0.05) placental AQP1 and AQP9 proteins, compared with controls. On Day 60 of gestation, supplementation with 0.4% Arg increased (P<0.05) endometrial AQP1 protein, whereas supplementation with 0.8% Arg increased (P<0.05) endometrial AQP5 and AQP9 proteins. Supplementation with 0.8% Arg increased the endometrial expression of AQP1, AQP5, and AQP9 proteins located in the luminal epithelium and glandular epithelium of endometria, and placental transport of 3H2O. Collectively, these results indicate that dietary Arg supplementation stimulates theexpression of selective AQPs in porcine placenta and endometria, thereby enhancing water transport from mother to fetus and expanding the chorioallantoic membranes during the period of placentation.