Publications by authors named "Holger Kluge"

32 Publications

Metabolic footprint and intestinal microbial changes in response to dietary proteins in a pig model.

J Nutr Biochem 2019 05 3;67:149-160. Epub 2019 Mar 3.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany; Competence Cluster for Nutrition and Cardiovascular Health (nutriCARD), Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Germany. Electronic address:

Epidemiological studies revealed that dietary proteins can contribute to the modulation of the cardiovascular disease risk. Still, direct effects of dietary proteins on serum metabolites and other health-modulating factors have not been fully explored. Here, we compared the effects of dietary lupin protein with the effects of beef protein and casein on the serum metabolite profile, cardiovascular risk markers and the fecal microbiome. Pigs were fed diets containing 15% of the respective proteins for 4 weeks. A classification analysis of the serum metabolites revealed six biomarker sets of two metabolites each that discriminated between the intake of lupin protein, lean beef or casein. These biomarker sets included 1- and 3-methylhistidine, betaine, carnitine, homoarginine and methionine. The study revealed differences in the serum levels of the metabolites 1- and 3- methylhistidine, homoarginine, methionine and homocysteine, which are involved in the one-carbon cycle. However, these changes were not associated with differences in the methylation capacity or the histone methylation pattern. With the exception of serum homocysteine and homoarginine levels, other cardiovascular risk markers, such as the homeostatic model assessment index, trimethylamine-N-oxide and lipids, were not influenced by the dietary protein source. However, the composition of the fecal microorganisms was markedly changed by the dietary protein source. Lupin-protein-fed pigs exhibited more species from the phyla Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes than the other two groups. In conclusion, different dietary protein sources induce distinct serum metabolic fingerprints, have an impact on the cardiovascular risk and modulate the composition of the fecal microbiome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2019.02.004DOI Listing
May 2019

Impact of a high-protein diet during lactation on milk composition and offspring in a pig model.

Eur J Nutr 2019 Dec 28;58(8):3241-3253. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.

Purpose: Early postnatal nutrition not only holds relevance to infant growth, but also determines the risk of developing obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes type 2 and cardiovascular diseases in adulthood. It is suggested that a high-protein (HP) diet in early childhood can predispose children to obesity. However, data concerning possible alterations in milk composition and the development of the offspring in response to a maternal HP diet are currently not available. To address this question, we conducted a study using pigs as a model organism.

Methods: At parturition, sows were assigned to two experimental groups. During lactation, the control group received a diet with a protein content of 16%, whereas the diet of the HP group contained 30% protein. After 28 days of lactation, samples were taken from sows and piglets for the quantification of free amino acids and other metabolites and for histology.

Results: Serum and milk urea showed the most marked differences between the two groups of sows, whereas serum urea concentration in piglets did not differ. Here, we found that the intake of an HP diet changed a series of metabolites in sows, but had only small effects on milk composition and virtually no effects on growth in the offspring. Interestingly, maternal protein intake during lactation shapes the microbiome of the offspring.

Conclusion: From our current study, we conclude that even a very high maternal protein intake throughout lactation has no impact on growth and health parameters of the offspring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00394-018-1867-yDOI Listing
December 2019

Agrimonia procera exerts antimicrobial effects, modulates the expression of defensins and cytokines in colonocytes and increases the immune response in lipopolysaccharide-challenged piglets.

BMC Vet Res 2018 Nov 15;14(1):346. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Danckelmann-Platz 2, 06120, Halle (Saale), Germany.

Background: Because antibiotic use in livestock is assumed to contribute to the emerging public health crisis of antibiotic resistance, alternatives are required. Phytogenic additives are extensively studied due to their antibiotic properties. Components of Agrimonia species have been reported as candidate antimicrobials that possess antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. We studied the impact of Agrimonia procera (AP) on the growth of selected strains of gut bacteria, the effect of AP on the mRNA abundance of genes involved in inflammation and bacterial defense in a colon carcinoma cell line, the effect of AP in piglets challenged with lipopolysaccharides, and the effect of AP on the growth performance of healthy piglets.

Results: The in vitro growth rate of different bacteria strains was negatively affected by AP, especially in Pediococcus pentosaceus and all tested E. coli strains. Stimulation of Caco-2 cells with TNFα resulted in elevated mRNA expression of CXCL1, IL-8 and GPX2. After pretreatment of cells with AP, stimulation of Caco-2 cells with TNFα still resulted in elevated mRNA expression of CXCL1 and IL-8 at all measured points in time. However, mRNA expression in AP-pretreated cells was lower after 6 h and 24 h. In addition, expression of DEFB1 and GPX2 was significantly elevated after TNFα stimulation. In vivo, application of lipopolysaccharides induced significantly increased animal body temperatures. Piglets pretreated with AP prior to lipopolysaccharide application showed a faster and larger increase in body temperature than controls. In addition, piglets pretreated with AP appeared to release more TNFα than controls. In healthy piglets, AP treatment had no impact on growth performance parameters. Fecal dry matter and total plasma antioxidant capacity tended to be higher in piglets treated with AP than in control piglets (P = 0.055 and P = 0.087, respectively).

Conclusions: AP has antimicrobial effects in vitro and stimulated the expression of proinflammatory cytokines in Caco-2 cells. The additive had no effect on growth in healthy piglets but increased the immune response in LPS-treated animals. In addition, AP appeared to have antioxidative effects in vivo. Therefore, AP merits testing as a future alternative to antibiotics in animal husbandry.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-018-1680-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6238359PMC
November 2018

High Leucine Diets Stimulate Cerebral Branched-Chain Amino Acid Degradation and Modify Serotonin and Ketone Body Concentrations in a Pig Model.

PLoS One 2016 1;11(3):e0150376. Epub 2016 Mar 1.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, 06120, Halle (Saale), Germany.

In addition to its role as an essential protein component, leucine (Leu) displays several other metabolic functions such as activation of protein synthesis. This property makes it an interesting amino acid for the therapy of human muscle atrophy and for livestock production. However, Leu can stimulate its own degradation via the branched-chain keto acid dehydrogenase complex (BCKDH). To examine the response of several tissues to excessive Leu, pigs were fed diets containing two- (L2) and four-fold (L4) higher Leu contents than the recommended amount (control). We found that the L4 diet led to a pronounced increase in BCKDH activity in the brain (2.5-fold, P < 0.05), liver (1.8-fold, P < 0.05) and cardiac muscle (1.7-fold, P < 0.05), whereas we found no changes in enzyme activity in the pancreas, skeletal muscle, adipose tissue and intestinal mucosa. The L2 diet had only weak effects on BCKDH activity. Both high Leu diets reduced the concentrations of free valine and isoleucine in nearly all tissues. In the brain, high Leu diets modified the amount of tryptophan available: for serotonin synthesis. Compared to the controls, pigs treated with the high Leu diets consumed less food, showed increased plasma concentrations of 3-hydroxybutyrate and reduced levels of circulating serotonin. In conclusion, excessive Leu can stimulate BCKDH activity in several tissues, including the brain. Changes in cerebral tryptophan, along with the changes in amino acid-derived metabolites in the plasma may limit the use of high Leu diets to treat muscle atrophy or to increase muscle growth.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0150376PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4773154PMC
July 2016

The phytochemical investigation of Agrimonia eupatoria L. and Agrimonia procera Wallr. as valid sources of Agrimoniae herba--The pharmacopoeial plant material.

J Pharm Biomed Anal 2015 Oct 3;114:272-9. Epub 2015 Jun 3.

Department of Pharmacognosy and Molecular Basis of Phytotherapy, Medical University of Warsaw, Faculty of Pharmacy, Banacha 1, 02-097 Warsaw, Poland.

The agrimony herb is a traditional plant drug, which is commonly used as a mildly astringent agent. According to European Pharmacopoeia, the only source of this plant drug is Agrimonia eupatoria. By contrast the German Commission E pharmacopoeial monograph used to allow Agrimonia procera to be used as a second valid source of Agrimoniae herba. Several studies have been conducted on the phytochemical composition of common agrimony. The data on the phytochemistry of A. procera are scarce. The aim of the present study was an in-depth phytochemical comparison of A. eupatoria and A. procera in the context of the pharmacopoeial monograph of A. herba. The comparison of two agrimony species showed that there are no significant qualitative differences. The quantitative HPLC analysis revealed that fragrant agrimony is a much better source of agrimoniin than common agrimony. This difference could not be detected using the pharmacopoeial method of quantification for the total tannin content. The present study has shown for the first time the possible use of apigenin-C-glycosides (vitexin and isovitexin) as chemotaxonomic markers for distinguishing both agrimony species. The potential chemical markers such as apigenin-7-O-glucoside and high agrimoniin content were also suggested for fragrant agrimony. Based on the data obtained, A. procera should be considered as a valid source of pharmacopoeial plant material.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpba.2015.05.027DOI Listing
October 2015

Studies on the health impact of Agrimonia procera in piglets.

BMC Vet Res 2014 Sep 9;10:210. Epub 2014 Sep 9.

Background: The weaning period is critical for stress-related diseases and infections. Currently, large amounts of therapeutic antimicrobials are used to treat infections in the livestock production, especially in piglets. Phytogenic feed additives could provide a useful alternative. We hypothesize, that components in agrimonia species which have been used successfully in humans to treat gastrointestinal infections could also improve the health of piglets. We investigated the effects of Agrimonia procera (AP) on the growth performance of piglets and cytokine expression in isolated porcine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC).

Results: Here we show that piglets that received a diet with 0.56 g/kg AP for 6 weeks tended to ingest more food (+5.1%; P < 0.10), and were characterized by a higher nitrogen retention (+9.6%, P < 0.05) than the control group without AP treatment. Data from a second experiment reveal that piglets fed a diet with 0.87 g/kg AP for 6 weeks had an improved food conversion ratio (1.46 ± 0.04) compared to those that received none (1.54 ± 0.08) or 8.7 g/kg AP (1.60 ± 0.08) with their diets (P < 0.001). However, the food intake, daily weight gain and dry matter of feces were not affected by the AP treatment. Treatment of PBMC for 1 and 6 h with AP extract (APE) reduced the mRNA abundance of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)? in cells challenged with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) but not in cells without LPS stimulation (P < 0.05). The lower mRNA expression of TNF? was accompanied by a trend towards a lower release of TNF? from these cells (P?=?0.067). After the treatment of PBMC with APE for 6 h, the relative mRNA concentration of interleukin (IL)-1? declined (P < 0.05), whereas that of IL-10 remained unchanged. Treatment of LPS-challenged PBMC for 20 h with varying concentrations of APE did not reveal any effect on cytokine expression and TNF? release.

Conclusions: The results indicate that low dosages of AP may improve the growth performance of piglets and seem to exert antiinflammatory effects in porcine immune cells challenged with LPS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12917-014-0210-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4173061PMC
September 2014

Free-range farming: a natural alternative to produce vitamin D-enriched eggs.

Nutrition 2014 Apr 14;30(4):481-4. Epub 2013 Oct 14.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Food-based strategies need to be developed to improve the vitamin D status of individuals. Recent studies identified ultraviolet B irradiation as an efficient method to enrich mushrooms and eggs with vitamin D. The aim of this study was to determine whether free-range farming of hens could provide a valuable method to produce vitamin D-enriched eggs.

Methods: Laying hens were randomly assigned to three groups of 33 to 34 animals each, and were kept either indoors (indoor group), outdoors (outdoor group), or with an indoor/outdoor option (indoor/outdoor group) over 4 wk.

Results: The study shows that the vitamin D3 content of egg yolk was three- to fourfold higher in the groups that were exposed to sunlight (outdoor and indoor/outdoor groups) compared with the indoor group (P < 0.001). Egg yolk from the outdoor group revealed the highest vitamin D3 content, which averaged 14.3 μg/100 g dry matter (DM), followed by that from the indoor/outdoor group (11.3 μg/100 g DM). Yolk from indoor eggs contained only 3.8 μg vitamin D/100 g DM. The 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D3) content of egg yolk was also influenced by sunlight exposure, although less pronounced than the vitamin D content (P < 0.05). In contrast, free-range eggs randomly acquired from supermarkets had relatively low vitamin D contents.

Conclusion: Free-range farming offers an efficient alternative to fortify eggs with vitamin D, provided that farming conditions are sufficiently attractive for hens to range outside.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2013.10.002DOI Listing
April 2014

Lupin protein isolate versus casein modifies cholesterol excretion and mRNA expression of intestinal sterol transporters in a pig model.

Nutr Metab (Lond) 2014 Feb 3;11(1). Epub 2014 Feb 3.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Danckelmann-Platz 2, 06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.

Background: Lupin proteins exert hypocholesterolemic effects in man and animals, although the underlying mechanism remains uncertain. Herein we investigated whether lupin proteins compared to casein modulate sterol excretion and mRNA expression of intestinal sterol transporters by use of pigs as an animal model with similar lipid metabolism as humans, and cellular cholesterol-uptake by Caco-2 cells.

Methods: Two groups of pigs were fed cholesterol-containing diets with either 230 g/kg of lupin protein isolate from L. angustifolius or 230 g/kg casein, for 4 weeks. Faeces were collected quantitatively over a 5 d period for analysis of neutral sterols and bile acids by gas chromatographically methods. The mRNA abundances of intestinal lipid transporters were analysed by real-time RT-PCR. Cholesterol-uptake studies were performed with Caco-2 cells that were incubated with lupin conglutin γ, phytate, ezetimibe or albumin in the presence of labelled [4-14C]-cholesterol.

Results: Pigs fed the lupin protein isolate revealed lower cholesterol concentrations in total plasma, LDL and HDL than pigs fed casein (P < 0.05). Analysis of faeces revealed a higher output of cholesterol in pigs that were fed lupin protein isolate compared to pigs that received casein (+57.1%; P < 0.05). Relative mRNA concentrations of intestinal sterol transporters involved in cholesterol absorption (Niemann-Pick C1-like 1, scavenger receptor class B, type 1) were lower in pigs fed lupin protein isolate than in those who received casein (P < 0.05). In vitro data showed that phytate was capable of reducing the uptake of labelled [4-14C]-cholesterol into the Caco-2 cells to the same extend as ezetimibe when compared to control (-20.5% vs. -21.1%; P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Data reveal that the cholesterol-lowering effect of lupin protein isolate is attributable to an increased faecal output of cholesterol and a reduced intestinal uptake of cholesterol. The findings indicate phytate as a possible biofunctional ingredient of lupin protein isolate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-11-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3922606PMC
February 2014

UVB exposure of farm animals: study on a food-based strategy to bridge the gap between current vitamin D intakes and dietary targets.

PLoS One 2013 24;8(7):e69418. Epub 2013 Jul 24.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.

Vitamin D deficiency is a global health problem. This study aimed to investigate the efficacy of ultraviolet (UV) B radiation for improving vitamin D3 content of eggs and meat. In a two-factorial design hens that received diets with 0 (-D3) or 3,000 IU (+D3) vitamin D3/kg were non-exposed (-UVB) or exposed to UVB radiation (+UVB) for 3 h daily over 4 weeks. Data show that UVB radiation was very effective in raising the vitamin D3 content of egg yolk and meat. Egg yolk from +UVB/-D3 hens had a higher vitamin D3 content (17.5±7.2 µg/100 g dry matter (DM)) than those from the -UVB/+D3 group (5.2±2.4 µg/100 g DM, p<0.01). Vitamin D3 content in egg yolk of vitamin D3-supplemented hens could be further increased by UVB radiation (32.4±10.9 µg/100 g DM). The content of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3) in the egg yolk also increased in response to UVB, although less pronounced than vitamin D3. Meat revealed about 4-fold higher vitamin D3 contents in response to UVB than to dietary vitamin D3 (p<0.001). In conclusion, exposure of hens to UVB is an efficient approach to provide consumers with vitamin D3-enriched foods from animal sources.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069418PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3722170PMC
February 2014

Effects of dietary benzoic acid and sodium-benzoate on performance, nitrogen and mineral balance and hippuric acid excretion of piglets.

Arch Anim Nutr 2012 Jun;66(3):227-36

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Science, Martin-Luther-University Halle- Wittenberg, Halle Germany.

The objective of this study was to compare the effects of sodium-benzoate (NaB) with those of benzoic acid (BAc) on growth performance of piglets as well as nutrient digestibility, nitrogen and mineral balance, urinary pH, and the urinary excretion of BAc and hippuric acid (HAc). The study was conducted with 120 weaning piglets (6.5 kg body weight), divided in four groups (15 replicates of two piglets each), which received (1) a basal diet (Control), or the basal diet supplemented with (2) 4 g NaB per kg (Group 4NaB), (3) 3.5 g BAc per kg (Group 3.5BAc) or (4) 5 g BAc per kg (Group 5BAc). Performance data were monitored over a 42-day period. Urine and faeces were collected from day 28-33 in metabolic cages with five piglets per treatment. Piglets of Groups 3.5BAc and 5BAc had similarly a considerably improved average daily gain and feed intake (p < 0.05). Performance of Group 4NaB was not significantly different from the other groups. Compared to the Control, the nitrogen retention was only improved in Group 5BAc (p < 0.05); the other groups showed intermediate values. In the supplemented groups, most of the BAc was excreted as HAc in urine, but only Groups 3.5BAc and 5BAc had reduced urinary pH (p < 0.05). Daily intake and faecal and urinary excretion of P and Ca were not affected by the treatment. The molar excess of Na in Group 4NaB was reflected by higher renal excretion of Na compared to the other groups (p < 0.05).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1745039x.2012.676812DOI Listing
June 2012

Effect of short-term UVB exposure on vitamin D concentration of eggs and vitamin D status of laying hens.

J Agric Food Chem 2012 Jan 11;60(3):799-804. Epub 2012 Jan 11.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, D-06108 Halle, Germany.

Vitamin D deficiency in humans is widespread, and only a few food items are important natural sources of vitamin D. This study investigated the effect of UVB exposure of laying hens on the vitamin D content in egg yolk. In a two-factorial design, hens fed a vitamin D-deficient (-D) or -adequate (+D) diet were nonexposed or exposed to UVB light over a period of 4 weeks. UVB exposure of the -D group caused nearly normal egg production rate and egg shell quality; exposure of the +D group did not further improve these parameters. UVB exposure tended to improve the concentration of plasma 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D(3)), but had no effect on 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol in plasma or on cholecalciferol and 25(OH)D(3) in egg yolk. The present study shows that a short-term exposure of laying hens to UVB light is not an appropriate way to improve the vitamin D content of egg yolk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf204273nDOI Listing
January 2012

Influence of broccoli extract and various essential oils on performance and expression of xenobiotic- and antioxidant enzymes in broiler chickens.

Br J Nutr 2012 Aug 16;108(4):588-602. Epub 2011 Nov 16.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin Luther University Halle Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.

The aim of our present study was to examine the regulation of xenobiotic- and antioxidant enzymes by phytogenic feed additives in the intestine and the liver of broilers. A total of 240 male Ross-308 broiler chickens (1 d old) were fed a commercial starter diet for 2 weeks. On day 15, the birds were assigned to six treatment groups of forty birds each. The control (Con) group was fed a diet without any additive for 3 weeks. The diet of group sulforaphane (SFN) contained broccoli extract providing 0.075 g/kg SFN, whereas the diets of the other four groups contained 0.15 g/kg essential oils from turmeric (Cuo), oregano (Oo), thyme and rosemary (Ro). Weight gain and feed conversion were slightly impaired by Cuo and Oo. In the jejunum SFN, Cuo and Ro increased the expression of xenobiotic enzymes (epoxide hydrolases 1 and 2 and aflatoxin B1 aldehyde reductase) and of the antioxidant enzyme haeme oxygenase regulated by an 'antioxidant response element' (ARE) compared to group Con. In contrast to our expectations in the liver, the expression of these enzymes was decreased by all the additives. Nevertheless, all the additives increased the Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity of the jejunum and the liver and reduced Fe-induced lipid peroxidation in the liver. We conclude that the up-regulation of ARE genes in the small intestine reduces oxidative stress in the organism and represents a novel mechanism by which phytogenic feed additives improve the health of farm animals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114511005873DOI Listing
August 2012

Effect of L-carnitine on the hepatic transcript profile in piglets as animal model.

Nutr Metab (Lond) 2011 Oct 31;8:76. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Institute of Animal Nutrition and Nutrition Physiology, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, 35392 Gießen, Germany.

Background: Carnitine has attracted scientific interest due to several health-related effects, like protection against neurodegeneration, mitochondrial decay, and oxidative stress as well as improvement of glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. The mechanisms underlying most of the health-related effects of carnitine are largely unknown.

Methods: To gain insight into mechanisms through which carnitine exerts its beneficial metabolic effects, we fed piglets either a control or a carnitine supplemented diet, and analysed the transcriptome in the liver.

Results: Transcript profiling revealed 563 genes to be differentially expressed in liver by carnitine supplementation. Clustering analysis of the identified genes revealed that most of the top-ranked annotation term clusters were dealing with metabolic processes. Representative genes of these clusters which were significantly up-regulated by carnitine were involved in cellular fatty acid uptake, fatty acid activation, fatty acid β-oxidation, glucose uptake, and glycolysis. In contrast, genes involved in gluconeogenesis were down-regulated by carnitine. Moreover, clustering analysis identified genes involved in the insulin signaling cascade to be significantly associated with carnitine supplementation. Furthermore, clustering analysis revealed that biological processes dealing with posttranscriptional RNA processing were significantly associated with carnitine supplementation.

Conclusion: The data suggest that carnitine supplementation has beneficial effects on lipid and glucose homeostasis by inducing genes involved in fatty acid catabolism and glycolysis and repressing genes involved in gluconeogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1743-7075-8-76DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3216248PMC
October 2011

mRNA expression of genes involved in fatty acid utilization in skeletal muscle and white adipose tissues of sows during lactation.

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 2011 Apr 13;158(4):450-4. Epub 2010 Dec 13.

Institute of Animal Nutrition and Nutrition Physiology, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, D-35392 Giessen, Germany.

Rodents are able to lower fatty acid utilization in liver and muscle during lactation in order to spare fatty acids for the production of milk triacylglycerols, an effect which is mediated by a down-regulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα). The present study was performed to investigate whether similar fatty acid sparing effects are developing in lactating sows. We considered PPARα and its target genes involved in fatty acid utilization in biopsy samples from muscle and adipose tissue of lactating compared to non-lactating sows. In muscle, PPARα target genes involved in fatty acid utilization were up-regulated during lactation indicating that the fatty acid utilization in muscle was increased. Activation of PPARα was probably due to increased concentrations of non-esterified fatty acids in plasma observed in the lactating sows. In contrast to muscle, PPARα and its target genes involved in β-oxidation in white adipose tissue were down-regulated in early lactation. Overall, the present study shows that sows, unlike rats, are not able to reduce the fatty acid utilization in muscle in order to spare fatty acids for milk production. However, fatty acid oxidation in adipose tissue is lowered during early lactation, an effect that might be helpful to conserve fatty acids released from adipose tissue for the delivery into other tissues, including mammary gland, via the blood.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2010.12.007DOI Listing
April 2011

Dietary L-carnitine alters gene expression in skeletal muscle of piglets.

Mol Nutr Food Res 2011 Mar 11;55(3):419-29. Epub 2010 Oct 11.

Institute of Animal Nutrition and Nutrition Physiology, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Gießen, Germany.

Scope: Carnitine improves protein accretion, muscle mass, and protein:fat accretion in piglets. The underlying mechanisms, however, are largely unknown.

Methods And Results: To gain insight into mechanisms through which carnitine exerts these effects, we fed piglets either a control or a carnitine-supplemented diet, and analyzed the transcriptome in skeletal muscle. Carnitine concentrations in plasma and muscle were about four-fold higher in the carnitine group when compared to the control group. Transcript profiling revealed 211 genes to be differentially expressed in muscle by carnitine supplementation. The identified genes were mainly involved in molecular processes such as cytoskeletal protein binding, insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding, transcription factor activity, and insulin receptor binding. Identified genes with the molecular function transcription factor activity encoded primarily transcription factors, most of which were down-regulated by carnitine, including pro-apoptotic transcription factors such as proto-oncogene c-fos, proto-oncogene c-jun and activating transcription factor 3. Furthermore, atrophy-related genes such as atrogin-1, MuRF1, and DRE1 were significantly down-regulated by carnitine. IGF signalling and insulin signalling were identified as significantly up-regulated regulatory pathways in the carnitine group.

Conclusion: Carnitine may have beneficial effects on skeletal muscle mass through stimulating the anabolic IGF-1 pathway and suppressing pro-apoptotic and atrophy-related genes, which are involved in apoptosis of muscle fibers and proteolysis of muscle proteins, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201000293DOI Listing
March 2011

Effect of xylanase on apparent ileal and total tract digestibility of nutrients and energy of rye in young pigs.

Arch Anim Nutr 2009 ;63(4):281-91

c DSM Nutritional Products, Animal Nutrition and Health R&D , Basel , Switzerland.

A digestibility experiment was carried out on weanling piglets to study the effect of an enzyme complex with predominant xylanase activity on apparent ileal (AID) and apparent total tract digestibility of nutrients and energy. The enzyme was supplemented at four levels (0, 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg) to a diet containing 96% rye. There were significant effects of the added enzyme on AID of dry matter, organic matter and crude fibre, and on apparent total tract digestibility of dry matter, organic matter and energy. However, the improvements in the digestibility were rather small. Except for galactose, there was a significant response in AID of all non-starch polysaccharide constituents to enzyme supplementation, the greatest effect being found at 100 mg/kg. The improvement in AID of arabinose + xylose (685%) was much higher than that of the remaining sugars (110%). AID of galactose was negative in all dietary treatments, presumably due to its high concentration in endogenous secretions. There was a significant response in AID of the sum of essential and total amino acids to the increased level of the enzyme. It is concluded that the enzyme complex is efficient in degrading dietary fibre components, thus improving the digestibility of organic matter, amino acids and energy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450390903020455DOI Listing
December 2016

Activities of gamma-butyrobetaine dioxygenase and concentrations of carnitine in tissues of pigs.

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 2009 Jul 12;153(3):324-31. Epub 2009 Mar 12.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Danckelmann-Platz 2, D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany.

In contrast to other species, less is known about carnitine homeostasis in the pig. This study was performed to yield information about the site of carnitine synthesis and carnitine concentrations in various tissues of pigs (Sus scrofa). We found that among several pig tissues, a considerable activity of gamma-butyrobetaine dioxygenase (BBD), the last enzyme of carnitine synthesis, exists, like in humans and several other species, only in liver and kidney. Activity of that enzyme in liver and kidney was lower at birth than in the subsequent weeks of life. Highest carnitine concentrations were found in skeletal muscle and heart. Carnitine concentrations in plasma, liver and kidney at birth were higher than in the subsequent weeks of life in spite of the low BBD activity at birth. In conclusion, this study shows that liver and kidney are the major sites of carnitine synthesis and that neonatal pigs do not have an insufficient carnitine status.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.03.005DOI Listing
July 2009

Supplementation of L-carnitine in pigs: absorption of carnitine and effect on plasma and tissue carnitine concentrations.

Arch Anim Nutr 2009 Feb;63(1):1-15

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.

This study was performed to investigate the bioavailability of carnitine supplements and their effects on the carnitine status of pigs. Seven groups of young pigs with an average body weight of 10 kg were fed a basal diet or the same diets supplemented with 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 or 1000 mg of L-carnitine per kg for 20 days. Absorption rate of the supplemented carnitine in the small intestine, assessed by the use of titanium dioxide as an indigestible indicator, was greater than 95% for the lower doses (25, 50, 100 mg/kg) and greater than 90% for the higher doses (200, 500, 1000 mg/kg). Supplementation of carnitine caused a dose-dependent increase of free carnitine, acetyl and total carnitine concentrations in plasma, liver, kidney, heart and skeletal muscle. At the highest dose of 1000 mg/kg, plasma and tissue total carnitine concentrations were 3- to 6-fold higher than in the unsupplemented control group. In conclusion, the present study shows that young pigs have a high capacity to absorb carnitine from the diet. It is also shown that plasma and tissue carnitine concentrations in young pigs can be markedly increased by supplementation of carnitine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450390802611636DOI Listing
February 2009

Carnitine synthesis and uptake into cells are stimulated by fasting in pigs as a model of nonproliferating species.

J Nutr Biochem 2009 Nov 15;20(11):840-7. Epub 2008 Oct 15.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Emil-Abderhalden-Strasse 26, D-06108 Halle (Saale), Germany.

In rodents, fasting increases the carnitine concentration in the liver by an up-regulation of enzymes of hepatic carnitine synthesis and novel organic cation transporter (OCTN) 2, mediated by activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) alpha. This study was performed to investigate whether such effects occur also in pigs which like humans, as nonproliferating species, have a lower expression of PPARalpha and are less responsive to treatment with PPARalpha agonists than rodents. An experiment with 20 pigs was performed, which were either fed a diet ad-libitum or fasted for 24 h. Fasted pigs had higher relative mRNA concentrations of the PPARalpha target genes carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 and acyl-CoA oxidase in liver, heart, kidney, and small intestinal mucosa than control pigs, indicative of PPARalpha activation in these tissues (P<.05). Fasted pigs had a higher activity of gamma-butyrobetaine dioxygenase (BBD), enzyme that catalyses the last step of carnitine biosynthesis in liver and kidney, and higher relative mRNA concentrations of OCTN2, the most important carnitine transporter, in liver, kidney, skeletal muscle, and small intestinal mucosa than control pigs (P<.05). Fasted pigs moreover had higher concentrations of free and total carnitine in liver and kidney than control pigs (P<.05). This study shows for the first time that fasting increases the activity of BBD in liver and kidney and up-regulates the expression of OCTN2 in various tissues of pigs, probably mediated by PPARalpha activation. It is concluded that nonproliferating species are also able to cover their increased demand for carnitine during fasting by an increased carnitine synthesis and uptake into cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2008.07.012DOI Listing
November 2009

A moderate excess of dietary lysine lowers plasma and tissue carnitine concentrations in pigs.

Br J Nutr 2009 Jan 20;101(2):190-6. Epub 2008 May 20.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Emil-Abderhalden-Strasse 26, D-06108 Halle (Saale), Germany.

This study was performed to investigate whether dietary lysine concentration influences the carnitine status of pigs. Therefore, an experiment with twenty young pigs with an average body weight of 21 kg was performed which were fed either a control diet (9.7 g lysine/kg) or a diet with a moderate excess of lysine (16.8 g lysine/kg). Concentrations of all the other amino acids did not differ between the diets. Pigs fed the high-lysine diet had lower concentrations of free and total carnitine in plasma, liver, kidney and skeletal muscle than control pigs (P<0.05). Pigs fed the high-lysine diet moreover had an increased concentration of trimethyllysine (TML), a reduced mRNA abundance of TML dioxygenase and reduced concentrations of gamma-butyrobetaine (BB) in muscle, indicating that the conversion of TML into BB in muscle was impaired. Concentrations of BB, the metabolic precursor of carnitine, in plasma, liver and kidney were also reduced in pigs fed the high-lysine diet while the activity of BB dioxygenase in kidney was not different and that in liver was even increased compared to control pigs (P<0.05). In conclusion, this study shows that a moderate dietary excess of lysine lowers plasma and tissue carnitine concentrations in pigs. Reduced concentrations of BB in liver and kidney suggest that the depressed carnitine status was likely caused by a decreased rate of carnitine synthesis due to a diminished availability of carnitine precursor, probably mainly as a result of an impaired BB formation in muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114508994770DOI Listing
January 2009

Clofibrate treatment up-regulates novel organic cation transporter (OCTN)-2 in tissues of pigs as a model of non-proliferating species.

Eur J Pharmacol 2008 Mar 26;583(1):11-7. Epub 2008 Jan 26.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Emil-Abderhalden-Strasse 26, D-06108 Halle (Saale), Germany.

Recent studies have shown that treatment of rodents with agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha causes an up-regulation of novel organic cation transporter (OCTN)-2, a carnitine transporter, and increases carnitine concentration in the liver. This study was performed to investigate whether such effects occur also in pigs which like humans have a lower expression of PPAR alpha and are less responsive to treatment with PPAR alpha agonists than rodents. An experiment with 18 pigs was performed which were fed a control diet or the same diet supplemented with 5 g clofibrate/kg for 28 days. Pigs treated with clofibrate had higher relative mRNA concentrations of OCTN2 in liver (3.1-fold), skeletal muscle (1.5-fold) and epithelial cells from small intestine (1.8-fold) than control pigs (P<0.05). Pigs treated with clofibrate had also higher concentrations of free and total carnitine in the liver and a higher concentration of free carnitine in skeletal muscle than control pigs (P<0.05). Concentrations of gamma-butyrobetaine, the precursor of endogenous formation of carnitine, in liver, muscle and plasma did not differ between both groups; the activity of gamma-butyrobetaine dioxygenase, the rate limiting enzyme of carnitine synthesis, in the liver was lower in pigs treated with clofibrate than in control pigs (P<0.05). This study shows for the first time that treatment with a PPAR alpha agonist causes an up-regulation of OCTN2 in liver, muscle and enterocytes from small intestine of pigs. This in turn increases carnitine concentrations in liver and muscle probably by enhancing carnitine uptake into cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2008.01.008DOI Listing
March 2008

Effects of fish oil and conjugated linoleic acids on expression of target genes of PPAR alpha and sterol regulatory element-binding proteins in the liver of laying hens.

Br J Nutr 2008 Aug 21;100(2):355-63. Epub 2008 Jan 21.

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Emil-Abderhalden-Strasse 26, Halle (Saale) D-06108, Germany.

In mammals, (n-3) PUFA and conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) act as activators of PPAR alpha and alter nuclear concentrations of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBP) in the liver, and thereby influence hepatic lipid catabolism and synthesis. In this study, we investigated the hypothesis that (n-3) PUFA and CLA exert similar effects in the liver of laying hens. Thirty hens (64 weeks old) were fed diets containing 30 g/kg of sunflower oil (control), fish oil (salmon oil) or CLA in TAG form (containing predominantly cis-9, trans-11 CLA and trans-10, cis-12 CLA) for 5 weeks. Hens fed fish oil had a higher expression of some PPAR alpha target genes and a lower nuclear concentration of SREBP-2 in the liver and lower concentrations of cholesterol and TAG in plasma than control hens. Nuclear concentration of SREBP-1 and its target genes involved in lipogenesis were not altered in hens fed fish oil. Hens fed CLA had increased concentrations of TAG and cholesterol in the liver. However, their mRNA levels of PPAR alpha target genes and nuclear concentrations of SREBP-1 and SREBP-2 as well as mRNA levels of their target genes in the liver were largely unchanged compared to control hens. The results of this study suggest that (n-3) PUFA cause a moderate activation of PPAR alpha and lower cholesterol synthesis but do not impair fatty acid synthesis in the liver of laying hens. CLA lead to an accumulation of TAG and cholesterol in the liver of hens by mechanisms to be elucidated in further studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114507883024DOI Listing
August 2008

Clofibrate treatment in pigs: effects on parameters critical with respect to peroxisome proliferator-induced hepatocarcinogenesis in rodents.

BMC Pharmacol 2007 Apr 16;7. Epub 2007 Apr 16.

Institut für Agrar- und Ernährungswissenschaften, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany.

Background: In rodents treatment with fibrates causes hepatocarcinogenesis, probably as a result of oxidative stress and an impaired balance between apoptosis and cell proliferation in the liver. There is some debate whether fibrates could also induce liver cancer in species not responsive to peroxisome proliferation. In this study the effect of clofibrate treatment on peroxisome proliferation, production of oxidative stress, gene expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic genes and proto-oncogenes was investigated in the liver of pigs, a non-proliferating species.

Results: Pigs treated with clofibrate had heavier livers (+16%), higher peroxisome counts (+61%), higher mRNA concentration of acyl-CoA oxidase (+66%), a higher activity of catalase (+41%) but lower concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (-32%) in the liver than control pigs (P < 0.05); concentrations of lipid peroxidation products (thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances, conjugated dienes) and total and reduced glutathione in the liver did not differ between both groups. Clofibrate treated pigs also had higher hepatic mRNA concentrations of bax and the proto-oncogenes c-myc and c-jun and a lower mRNA concentration of bcl-XL than control pigs (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: The data of this study show that clofibrate treatment induces moderate peroxisome proliferation but does not cause oxidative stress in the liver of pigs. Gene expression analysis indicates that clofibrate treatment did not inhibit but rather stimulated apoptosis in the liver of these animals. It is also shown that clofibrate increases the expression of the proto-oncogenes c-myc and c-jun in the liver, an event which could be critical with respect to carcinogenesis. As the extent of peroxisome proliferation by clofibrate was similar to that observed in humans, the pig can be regarded as a useful model for investigating the effects of peroxisome proliferators on liver function and hepatocarcinogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2210-7-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1858689PMC
April 2007

Feeding of a deep-fried fat causes PPARalpha activation in the liver of pigs as a non-proliferating species.

Br J Nutr 2007 May;97(5):872-82

Institute of Agricultural and Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther- University of Halle- Wittenberg, Emil-Abderhalden-Strasse 26, D-06108 Halle (Saale), Germany.

Recent studies have shown that dietary oxidised fats influence the lipid metabolism in rats by activation of PPARalpha. In this study, we investigated whether a mildly oxidised fat causes activation of PPARalpha in pigs which are non-proliferators like man. Eighteen pigs were assigned to two groups and received either a diet containing 90 g/kg of a fresh fat or the same diet with 90 g/kg of an oxidised fat prepared by heating for 24 h at 180 degrees C in a deep fryer. Pigs fed the oxidised fat had a higher peroxisome count, a higher activity of catalase and a higher mRNA concentration of mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase in the liver and a higher concentration of 3-hydroxybutyrate in plasma than pigs fed the fresh fat (P< 0.05). Hepatic mRNA concentrations of acyl-CoA oxidase and carnitine palmitoyltransferase- 1 tended to be increased in pigs fed the oxidised fat compared to pigs fed the fresh fat (P< 0.10). Pigs fed the oxidised fat, moreover, had higher mRNA concentrations of sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1 and its target genes acetyl-CoA carboxylase and stearoyl-CoA desaturase in the liver and higher mRNA concentrations of SREBP-2 and its target genes 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutary-CoA reductase and LDL receptor in liver and small intestine. In conclusion, this study shows that even a mildly oxidised fat causes activation of PPARalpha in the liver of pigs. Up-regulation of SREBP and its target genes in liver and small intestine suggests that the oxidised fat could stimulate synthesis of cholesterol and TAG in these tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0007114507669256DOI Listing
May 2007

Clofibrate causes an upregulation of PPAR-{alpha} target genes but does not alter expression of SREBP target genes in liver and adipose tissue of pigs.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2007 Jul 15;293(1):R70-7. Epub 2007 Mar 15.

Institut für Agrar- und Ernährungswissenschaften, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Emil-Abderhalden-Strasse 26, D-06108 Halle/Saale, Germany.

This study investigated the effect of clofibrate treatment on expression of target genes of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-alpha and various genes of the lipid metabolism in liver and adipose tissue of pigs. An experiment with 18 pigs was performed in which pigs were fed either a control diet or the same diet supplemented with 5 g clofibrate/kg for 28 days. Pigs treated with clofibrate had heavier livers, moderately increased mRNA concentrations of various PPAR-alpha target genes in liver and adipose tissue, a higher concentration of 3-hydroxybutyrate, and markedly lower concentrations of triglycerides and cholesterol in plasma and lipoproteins than control pigs (P < 0.05). mRNA concentrations of sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBP)-1 and -2, insulin-induced genes (Insig)-1 and Insig-2, and the SREBP target genes acetyl-CoA carboxylase, 3-methyl-3-hydroxyglutaryl-CoA reductase, and low-density lipoprotein receptor in liver and adipose tissue and mRNA concentrations of apolipoproteins A-I, A-II, and C-III in the liver were not different between both groups of pigs. In conclusion, this study shows that clofibrate treatment activates PPAR-alpha in liver and adipose tissue and has a strong hypotriglyceridemic and hypocholesterolemic effect in pigs. The finding that mRNA concentrations of some proteins responsible for the hypolipidemic action of fibrates in humans were not altered suggests that there were certain differences in the mode of action compared with humans. It is also shown that PPAR-alpha activation by clofibrate does not affect hepatic expression of SREBP target genes involved in synthesis of triglycerides and cholesterol homeostasis in liver and adipose tissue of pigs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00603.2006DOI Listing
July 2007

L-carnitine supplementation of sows during pregnancy improves the suckling behaviour of their offspring.

Br J Nutr 2006 Aug;96(2):334-42

Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Emil-Abderhalden-Strasse 26, D-06108 Halle/Saale, Germany.

It has been shown that L-carnitine supplementation of sows increases their milk production and the postnatal growth of the suckling piglets. To test the hypothesis that this effect is due to an improved suckling behaviour of the piglets, two experiments with sows were performed. Two groups of thirteen or ten sows each (in experiments 1 and 2, respectively) were fed diets with or without supplemental L-carnitine during pregnancy (125 mg/d) and lactation (250 mg/d). After birth, the litters of all sows were standardised to equal sizes of eleven and nine piglets per litter in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. In experiment 1, the piglets of L-carnitine-supplemented sows had a higher total suckling time per day on days 3, 6 and 9, and greater weight gains during the suckling period, than the piglets of control sows (P<0.05). In experiment 2, all litters were taken away from their mothers and switched to other sows. Half of the control sows and half of the L-carnitine-supplemented sows were given litters born to control sows, the other half of each group being given litters born to L-carnitine-supplemented sows. Piglets born to L-carnitine-supplemented sows had a higher total suckling time per day on day 3 and greater body weight gains during the first 14 d compared with piglets born to control sows (P<0.05). This study shows that piglets born to sows supplemented with L-carnitine are able to suckle for longer, which enables them to obtain more milk and grow faster than piglets born to control sows.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/bjn20061833DOI Listing
August 2006

Nutrient composition and concentrations of immunoglobulins in milk of sows supplemented with L-carnitine.

Arch Anim Nutr 2006 Aug;60(4):333-40

Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.

Recent studies have shown that L-carnitine supplementation of sows increases growth of their piglets during the suckling period. In this study, the composition of the milk of sows supplemented with L-carnitine was determined to find out whether an altered milk composition could account for the increased growth rates of the piglets. Milk of 13 control sows and 14 sows supplemented with L-carnitine (125 mg/d during pregnancy, 250 mg/d during lactation) was collected 5-8 h after birth (colostrum) and on days 10 and 20 of lactation. Concentrations of fat and lactose and the energy content in milk at day 10 and 20 did not differ between both groups of sows. Sows supplemented with L-carnitine had a higher concentration of protein in colostrum (p < 0.05) while concentrations of fat, lactose, immunoglobulins G, M and A as well as the energy content in colostrum did not differ between both groups of sows. These findings show that milk composition does not play a major role for the increased postnatal growth of piglets from sows supplemented with L-carnitine observed in recent studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450390600785590DOI Listing
August 2006

Clofibrate increases hepatic triiodothyronine (T3)- and thyroxine (T4)-glucuronosyltransferase activities and lowers plasma T3 and T4 concentrations in pigs.

Drug Metab Dispos 2006 Nov 8;34(11):1887-92. Epub 2006 Aug 8.

Institut für Ernährungswissenschaften, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Emil-Abderhalden-Str 26, Halle/S, Germany.

In rats, clofibrate acts as a microsomal enzyme inducer and disrupts the metabolism of thyroid hormones by increasing hepatic glucuronidation of thyroxine. Whether similar effects occur in the pig has not yet been investigated. This study was performed to investigate the effect of clofibrate treatment on metabolism of thyroid hormones in pigs. To this end, an experiment with 18 pigs, which were assigned to two groups, was performed. One group received a control diet, and the other group was fed the same diet supplemented with 5 g of clofibrate/kg for 28 days. Pigs treated with clofibrate had higher hepatic activities of T(3)- and T(4)-UDP glucuronosyltransferases (UGT) and lower concentrations of total and free T(4) and total T(3) in plasma than control pigs (P < 0.05). Weights and histology of the thyroid gland (epithelial height, follicle lumen diameter) did not differ between the two groups, but pigs treated with clofibrate had higher mRNA concentrations of various genes in the thyroid responsive to thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) such as TSH receptor, sodium iodine symporter, thyroid peroxidase, and cathepsin B than control pigs (P < 0.05). Pigs treated with clofibrate also had lower hepatic mRNA concentrations of proteins involved in plasma thyroid hormone transport [thyroxine-binding globulin (P < 0.10), transthyretin (P < 0.05), and albumin (P < 0.05)] and thyroid hormone receptor alpha(1) (P < 0.05) than control pigs. In conclusion, this study shows that clofibrate treatment induces a strong activation of T(3)- and T(4)-UGT in pigs, leading to increased glucuronidation and markedly reduced plasma concentrations of these hormones, accompanied by a moderate stimulation of thyroid function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/dmd.106.011379DOI Listing
November 2006

Body composition, muscle fibre characteristics and postnatal growth capacity of pigs born from sows supplemented with L-carnitine.

Arch Anim Nutr 2006 Apr;60(2):110-8

Institute of Nutritional Sciences, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.

Recently, it has been shown that supplementation of sows with L-carnitine increases their plasma concentrations of insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I, and it has been hypothesized that this may stimulate fetal myogenesis. This study was performed to investigate whether piglets of sows supplemented with L-carnitine differ in muscle fibre characteristics, chemical body composition and postnatal growth capability from pigs of control sows. Muscle fibre characteristics and chemical body composition were determined at weaning in 21 piglets of control sows and 21 piglets of sows treated with L-carnitine with similar body weights; postnatal growth capability was determined from weaning until slaughter at a body weight of 118 kg in 80 pigs of control sows and 80 pigs of sows treated with L-camitine which had also similar body weights at weaning. Piglets of sows supplemented with L-carnitine did not differ in number, area, diameter and type (percentages of slow twitch oxidative + fast twitch oxidative fibres, and fast twitch glycolytic fibres) of muscle fibres in m. longissimus dorsi and m. semitendinosus and in chermical body composition (concentrations of dry matter, crude protein, crude fat) from piglets of control sows. Postnatal growth capability (body weight gains, feed conversion ratio) from weaning to slaughter as well as carcass composition (carcass yield, meat thickness, fat thickness) was also not different between pigs of sows treated with L-carnitine and pigs of control sows. In conclusion, data of this study do not support the hypothesis that L-carnitine supplementation of sows during pregnancy enhances fetal muscle fibre development and increases postnatal growth capability of the offspring.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17450390600562528DOI Listing
April 2006

Concentrations of cholesterol oxidation products in raw, heat-processed and frozen-stored meat of broiler chickens fed diets differing in the type of fat and vitamin E concentrations.

Br J Nutr 2005 May;93(5):633-43

Institute of Nutritional Sciences Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany.

The present study was performed to investigate the effect of dietary fat and vitamin E on concentrations of cholesterol oxidation products (COP) in broiler muscle. A total of 144 1-d-old broiler chicks were fed diets with either palm oil, soyabean oil or linseed oil and vitamin E concentrations of 20, 40 or 200 mg/kg for 35 d. COP concentrations were analysed in raw, heat-processed (180 degrees C, 20 min) and frozen-stored (-20 degrees C, 6 months) breast and thigh muscles. COP concentrations were influenced by dietary vitamin E concentration, dietary fat, treatment and type of muscle (P<0.001). Increasing the dietary vitamin E concentration generally reduced the concentration of COP. This effect was strongest in broilers fed linseed oil and weakest in broilers fed palm oil; the effect of vitamin E was also stronger in heated muscles than in raw or frozen-stored muscles. Moreover, the concentration of COP in thigh muscle was more strongly influenced by dietary vitamin E than that in breast muscle. COP concentrations in muscles were on average highest in broilers fed linseed oil and lowest in broilers fed palm oil, but the effect of the dietary fat also depended on the vitamin E concentration, the treatment and the type of muscle. In conclusion, our study shows that dietary fat and vitamin E influence the concentrations of total COP in broiler muscle. However, the effects of these factors were not only influenced by interactions between each other, but also depended on the treatment of the muscle and the type of muscle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1079/bjn20051411DOI Listing
May 2005