Animals (Basel) 2021 May 14;11(5). Epub 2021 May 14.
Dipartimento di Medicina Veterinaria, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via dell'Università 6, 26900 Lodi, Italy.
During the prenatal, neonatal, and weaning periods, the porcine gastrointestinal tract undergoes several morpho-functional, changes together with substantial modification of the microbial ecosystem. Modifications of the overall structure of the small intestine also occur, as well as a rapid increase of the volume, mainly in the last period of gestation: intestinal villi, starting from jejunum, appears shortly before the sixth week of gestation, and towards the end of the third month, epithelial cells diversify into enterocytes, goblet cells, endocrine, and Paneth cells. Moreover, in the neonatal period, colostrum induces an increase in intestinal weight, absorptive area, and brush border enzyme activities: intestine doubles its weight and increases the length by 30% within three days of birth. Read More