Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Peter Kappel Theil

Mammary nutrient uptake in multiparous sows fed supplementary arginine during gestation and lactation

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Arginine is the precursor for the synthesis of nitric oxide and may increase mammary plasma flow (MPF), which may in turn increase mammary nutrient uptake. Quantifying mammary nutrient uptake improves our understanding of mammary nutrient metabolism and may potentially allow identification of limiting nutrients for colostrum and milk production. Thus, the objectives of the present study were 1) to study the impact of 25 g/d of crystalline Arg (ARG) on MPF and uptake of nutrients by the mammary glands compared with an isonitrogenous supply of Ala (51 g/d; control [CON]) fed to a total of 8 sows from d 30 of gestation until weaning on d 28 of lactation and 2) to quantify mammary nutrient uptake in late gestation and in early and at peak lactation. Sows were surgically fitted with indwelling catheters on d 76 ± 2 SEM of gestation. Para-amino hippuric acid (pAH) was infused (3.0 mmol/h) in the infusion catheter inserted in the mammary vein, initiated 1 h before the first blood sample at −10, −3, 3, and 17 d in milk (DIM). Blood samples were simultaneously drawn from catheters inserted in the femoral artery and the mammary vein, and the samples were collected in hourly intervals from 0.5 h before to 6.5 h after feeding. Sow milk production was assessed at 3 and 17 DIM. Arterial plasma concentrations of Arg and Ala were increased in ARG and CON sows, respectively (P < 0.01), whereas we did not succeed in detecting a greater MPF in ARG sows (P = 0.30). Arterial-venous differences (P = 0.03) and net mammary flux (P = 0.01) of Ala were increased in CON sows, while the net flux of most other metabolites (P > 0.05) was unaffected by treatment. The mammary extraction of all essential AA was below 13% in late gestation. The average mammary extraction of essential AA at peak lactation was greatest for Leu (51%), while the preprandial extraction was greatest for Lys (57%). The mammary carbon balance (input-output) was negative (−39 ± 12 mol C/d) in early lactation but almost balanced at peak lactation (−13 ± 14 mol C/d), suggesting that mammary fat depots contributed to milk synthesis. In conclusion, we failed to observe an increased MPF and mammary uptake of AA and energy metabolites in ARG-supplemented sows. The mammary extraction rate of essential AA indicated that AA were not limiting for the mammary glands in late gestation, while Lys and Leu appeared to be the 2 most limiting essential AA for milk production at peak lactation
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Pages (from-to)2517-2532
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

    Research areas

  • arginine, gestation, lactation, mammary plasma flow, net mammary flux, sows

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