The Effect of Complementary Access to Milk Replacer to Piglets on the Activity of Brush Border Enzymes in the Piglet Small Intestine

Wang, J.F.;Lundh, T.;Westrom, B.;Lindberg, J.E.

  • Received : 2005.01.11
  • Accepted : 2005.06.25
  • Published : 2005.11.01


The activity of brush border enzymes (sucrase, lactase and maltase) in the piglet small intestine was evaluated as well as piglet performance during the weaning period in the present study. There were two treatment groups: Piglets of six litters were fed dry feed plus milk replacer (Group M) and of six litters fed dry pelleted feed (Group C). One piglet from each litter was sacrificed on day 3 before weaning, and day 3, 10 and 17 postweaning, respectively. Providing milk replacer caused an increased piglet live weight at weaning (p<0.001) and until termination of the experiment (p<0.001). A slightly higher (p<0.16) level of protein was measured in the jejunum of group M piglets as compared with group C piglets. Before weaning the activity of lactase was high in the jejunum of group C piglets. The activity of lactase in the jejunum was lowered in the jejunum of group C piglets and in distal jejunum of group M piglets during the postweaning period as compared with pre-weaning period (p<0.05). Lowered activity of lactase in the distal jejunum of piglets was found at day 10 and 17 postweaning, respectively. No treatment differences were found in the activity of lactase in the piglet jejunum. No treatment differences were seen in the activity of maltase and sucrase in the piglet jejunum also. However, weaning caused a higher activity of sucrase in the distal jejunum of group M piglets as compared with pre-weaning period. In conclusion, providing milk replacer to piglets caused an improved growth performance. Feeding milk replacer did not influence the activity of lactase, maltase and sucrase in the jejunum of piglets. Weaning resulted in a markedly lowered activity of lactase, while no dramatic changes in the activity of maltase took place during the period around weaning.




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