The Growth-promoting Effect of Tetrabasic Zinc Chloride is Associated with Elevated Concentration of Growth Hormone and Ghrelin

  • Zhang, Bingkun (State Key Lab of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology China Agricultural University) ;
  • Guo, Yuming (State Key Lab of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology China Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2008.01.23
  • Accepted : 2008.04.16
  • Published : 2008.10.01


An experiment was conducted to investigate the mechanism for the effect of tetrabasic zinc chloride (TBZC) in enhancing growth performance of weanling piglets. Gut-brain peptides play an important role in the regulation of growth and appetite in animals. This study evaluated the effects of TBZC on blood concentrations of growth hormone (GH), ghrelin, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), cholecystokinin (CCK) and neuropeptide Y (NPY). Seventy-two weanling piglets (Landrace$\times$Large White) with an initial body weight (BW) of $6.7{\pm}0.16kg$ and aged $24{\pm}1days$ were assigned to three dietary treatments: i) control diet without TBZC supplement, ii) the control diet supplemented with 2,000 mg Zn from TBZC/kg and iii) TBZC-supplemented diet pair-fed with respect to the control diet. Each treatment had six replications (pens) of four piglets. At the end of a 14-d experimental period, piglets were weighed and feed consumption was measured, and blood samples were collected for assays of GH, ghrelin, IGF-I, CCK and NPY concentrations. The inclusion of TBZC in the diet increased average daily gain (p<0.01), average daily feed intake (p<0.05), and feed conversion ratio (p<0.05). Pair-fed piglets had higher ADG, and lower FCR than (p<0.05) Control piglets. Supplementation of the diet with TBZC increased (p<0.05) serum GH and plasma ghrelin levels in weanling piglets, but did not affect (p>0.05) serum IGF-I and plasma NPY and CCK concentrations. Pair-fed piglets had lower (p<0.05) serum GH levels than TBZC-supplemented piglets, but did not (p>0.05) differ from Control piglets. These data indicated that TBZC elevated the concentration of ghrelin and GH. This observation may partly explain the beneficial effects of TBZC on growth performance of weanling piglets.


Tetrabasic Zinc Chloride;Pig;Growth Hormone;Ghrelin


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