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Effect of DL-methionine supplementation above requirement on performance; intestinal morphology, antioxidant activity, and gene expression; and serum concentration of amino acids in heat stressed pigs

Adriana Morales, Verónica Sánchez, Bayron Pérez, Reyna L Camacho, Néstor Arce, Ernesto Avelar, Jollie-Carolline González-Vega, John K Htoo, Miguel Cervantes

The intestinal morphology and function can be compromised in pigs exposed to heat stress (HS), partly due to increased production of reactive-oxygen species. Because methionine (Met) functions as intracellular antioxidant, the requirement of Met may be increased in HS-pigs. The effect of dietary supplementation with DL-Met above requirement on performance, small intestine morphology, antioxidant enzymes activity, amino acid transporters expression, and serum concentration (SC) of free AA in HS-pigs was evaluated. A basal wheat–soybean meal diet was formulated to meet 100% Met requirement with the other indispensable AA exceeding at least 20% their requirement. Sixty individually housed pigs (23.0 ± 2.4 kg BW, 12 pigs per treatment) were randomly assigned to five treatments: TN100, thermal-neutral (22.7 °C) housed pigs fed the basal diet; HS100, HS120, HS140, HS160; HS-pigs (29.6 °C to 39.4 °C) fed the basal diet supplemented with DL-Met to contain 0%, 20%, 40%, and 60% DL-Met above the requirement, respectively. Pigs had free access to feed and water during the 21-d trial. Blood samples were collected on day 18 to analyze the absorptive AA-SC. The effect of ambient temperature (HS100 vs. TN100), as well as the linear and quadratic effects of increasing Met levels in the diets for HS-pigs were analyzed. The HS100 pigs gained less weight than TN100 and HS120 pigs (P < 0.01); gain:feed was also higher in HS120 pigs than in HS100 pigs (P ≤ 0.05). Feed intake of TN100 pigs was higher than that of HS-pigs fed the DL-Met supplemented diets (P < 0.05). Villi height reduced in pigs HS, but Met supplementation quadratically increased it (P < 0.05). Superoxide dismutase and catalase activities, reduced glutathione concentration, and relative expression of B0AT2 in ileum decreased (P < 0.05), but glutathione peroxidase activity increased in HS-pigs. DL-Met supplementation linearly affected catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities, as well as the relative expression of b0,+AT in jejunum (P < 0.05) of HS-pigs. The SC of Ile, Leu, Lys, Phe, and Val were higher in HS100 pigs than in TN100 pigs (P < 0.05). Graded levels of supplemental DL-Met in diets for HS-pigs linearly decreased SC of Ile, Leu, and Val (P < 0.05), tended to decrease His, Lys, and Thr (P < 0.10), and increased Met (P < 0.01). In conclusion, HS had negative effect on weight gain and intestinal morpho-physiology; however, it was ameliorated by adding 20% Met above the requirement in diets for growing pigs.

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