Journal of veterinary medicine. A, Physiology, pathology, clinical medicine vol:49 issue:2 pages:81-6
The purpose of this study was to test whether dietary spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) in early-weaned piglets prevents small intestinal villus atrophy by trophic or protective activity. Fifty-four weaned, 18-day-old piglets were used to determine the effect of dietary SDPP on small intestinal villus length, crypt depth, enterocyt mitotic activity and brush border enzyme activities during the first week after weaning. The piglets were offered a diet containing either 8% SDPP or 8% casein. At 2 and 7 days after weaning, piglets were anaesthetized to provide samples of the small intestinal wall and killed immediately afterwards. There were no differences in daily gain and daily feed intake between the two dietary treatments. At day 2 after weaning, all piglets showed a marked reduction in villus height when compared with baseline values. In all piglets, small intestinal enterocyte mitotic activity had decreased by day 2 and was increased again on day 7. There were no significant effects of dietary SDPP on small intestinal villus length, crypt depth and enterocyt mitotic activity. This indicates that SDPP has no trophic effect on the small intestinal mucosa and that it does not protect against the damaging effect on the small intestinal villi that is associated with the process of weaning. There was no effect of SDPP on lactase-, sucrase- or maltase-specific activities that are a measure of the digestive function of the small intestine. It can be concluded that SDPP versus casein has no effect on small intestinal morphology and disaccharidase activities in early weaned piglets kept under low infection pressure.