Dietary L-arginine supplementation enhances the immune status in early-weaned piglets. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Dietary L-arginine supplementation enhances the immune status in early-weaned piglets.
Amino Acids. 2009 Jul;37(2):323-31. Epub 2008 Aug 19. PMID: 18712273
Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Health, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, The Chinese Academy of Sciences, 410125 Changsha, Hunan, China.
This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that dietary L-arginine supplementation enhances immunity in early weaned piglets. Seventy piglets weaned at 7 days of age were assigned to five groups (14 pigs/group), representing supplementation of 0.0, 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, and 0.8% L-arginine to a milk-based formula. On Day 7 after initiation of treatment, spleen weight in piglets supplemented with 0.2 and 0.8% arginine was heavier and thymus size was larger in piglets supplemented with 0.6% arginine, whereas serum concentration of immunoglobulin (Ig) M was higher but that of IL-8 was lower in piglets supplemented with 0.6 and 0.8% arginine, compared with the control group. Dietary supplementation with 0.8% arginine increased the numbers of white blood cells and granulocytes, and gene expression of interleukin (IL)-8 in spleen. On Day 14, compared with control piglets, granulocyte numbers were greater but lymphocyte numbers were lower in piglets supplemented with 0.2 and 0.4% arginine, whereas splenic expression of IL-8 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha genes was increased in piglets supplemented with 0.8% arginine. Additionally, IgG and IgM concentrations in serum and growth performance were greater in piglets supplemented with 0.4-0.8% arginine, compared with unsupplemented piglets. Collectively, dietary supplementation with 0.4-0.8% L-arginine for 2 weeks enhances both cellular and humoral immunity in piglets by modulating the production of leukocytes, cytokines and antibodies. These results indicate that increasing L-arginine provision is beneficial for optimal immune responses in young pigs and also have important implications for designing the next generation of improved formula for human infants.