Effects of proteinate complex zinc on growth performance, hepatic and splenic trace elements concentrations, antioxidative function and immune functions in weaned piglets

  • She, Yue (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, ALLTECH-MAFIC Research Alliance, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Huang, Qiang (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, ALLTECH-MAFIC Research Alliance, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Li, Defa (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, ALLTECH-MAFIC Research Alliance, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Piao, Xiangshu (State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, Ministry of Agriculture Feed Industry Centre, ALLTECH-MAFIC Research Alliance, China Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2016.11.10
  • Accepted : 2017.01.09
  • Published : 2017.08.01


Objective: To assess the effects of proteinate complex zinc (PC-Zn) on growth performance, antioxidative function, trace element concentrations and immune function in weaned piglets. Methods: Three hundred newly weaned barrows ($Duroc{\times}Landrace{\times}Yorkshire$), 28 days of age, were randomly allotted to 3 dietary groups of 5 replicate pens per group for 4 weeks of feeding. Experimental diets were: i) zinc deficient diet (ZnD, 24 mg/kg Zn supplementation from $ZnSO_4$), ii) inorganic Zn diet supplemented with 120 mg/kg of Zn from Zn sulfate ($ZnSO_4$), and iii) organic Zn diet supplemented with 120 mg/kg of Zn from PC-Zn. The body weight of pigs were recorded at the beginning, at the middle and at the end of the experiment, and the amount of feed supplied each day was recorded. Five barrows from each dietary treatment group were selected to be anesthetized and euthanized at the end of the trial to determine the Zn, Cu, Fe, and Mn concentrations, the hepatic metallothionein content, the levels of methane dicarboxylic aldehyde (MDA), Mn, and Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) in the spleen, the levels of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-10, interferon $(IFN)-{\gamma}$, $CD3^+$, $CD4^+$, and $CD8^+$ T lymphocyte. Results: The accumulation of Zn in the spleen, levels of SOD, GSH-Px, IL-4, IL-10, the proportions of $CD3^+$ and $CD4^+$ T lymphocyte, and the ratio of $CD4^+/CD8^+$ T lymphocyte were increased by organic Zn supplementation compared to ZnD, while the levels of MDA, $IFN-{\gamma}$, and proportion of $CD8^+$ T lymphocyte were lowered. Conclusion: These findings indicate that Zn can improve the antioxidant potential and immune functions of weaned piglets.


Proteinate Complex Zinc;Growth Performance;Trace Elements Concentrations;Atioxidative Function;Immune Functions;Weaned Piglets


Supported by : National Natural Science Fund of China


  1. Koo OJ, Park SJ, Lee C, et al. Production of mutated porcine embryos using zinc finger nucleases and a reporter-based cell enrichment system. Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 2014;27:324-9.
  2. Gronli O, Kvamme JM, Friborg O, Wynn R. Zinc deficiency is common in several psychiatric disorders. PLoS One 2013;8:e82793.
  3. Lebel A, Matte JJ, Guay F. Effect of mineral source and mannan oligosaccharide supplements on zinc and copper digestibility in growing pigs. Arch Anim Nutr 2014;68:370-84.
  4. Zhao CY, Tan SX, Xiao XY, et al. Effects of dietary zinc oxide nanoparticles on growth performance and antioxidative status in broilers. Biol Trace Elem Res 2014;160:361-7.
  5. Wang X, Ou D, Yin JD, Wu G, Wang J. Proteomic analysis reveals altered expression of proteins related to glutathione metabolism and apoptosis in the small intestine of zinc oxide- supplemented piglets. Amino Acids 2009;37:209-18.
  6. O'Halloran TV, Kebede M, Philips SJ, Attie AD. Zinc, insulin, and the liver: a menage a trois. J Clin Invest 2013;123:4136-9.
  7. Ma Y, Huang Q, Lv M, et al. Chitosan-Zn chelate increases antioxidant enzyme activity and improves immune function in weaned piglets. Biol Trace Elem Res 2014;158:45-50.
  8. Hill GM, Mahan DC, Jolliff JS. Comparison of organic and inorganic zinc sources to maximize growth and meet the zinc needs of the nursery pig. J Anim Sci 2014;92:1582-94.
  9. Bakhiet M, Taha S. A novel nervous system-induced factor inducing immune responses in the spleen. Immunol Cell Biol 2008;86:688-99.
  10. Elenkov IJ, Iezzoni DG, Daly A, Harris AG, Chrousos GP. Cytokine dysregulation, inflammation and well-being. Neuroimmunomodulation 2005;12:255-69.
  11. Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Swine, National Research Council. Nutrient requirements of swine. 11th ed. Washington, DC:National Academy Press; 2012.
  12. Hepp NM, Mindak WR, Cheng J. Determination of total lead in lipstick: development and validation of a microwave-assisted digestion, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometric method. J Cosmet Sci 2009;60:405-14.
  13. Eaton DL, Toal BF. Evaluation of the Cd/hemoglobin affinity assay for the rapid determination of metallothionein in biological tissues. Toxicol Appl Pharm 1982;66:134-42.
  14. She Y, Wang N, Chen C, et al. Effects of aluminum on immune functions of cultured splenic T and B lymphocytes in rats. Biol Trace Elem Res 2012;147:246-50.
  15. Pieper R, Martin L, Schunter N, et al. Impact of high dietary zinc on zinc accumulation, enzyme activity and proteomic profiles in the pancreas of piglets. J Trace Elem Med Biol 2015;30:30-6.
  16. Keen CL, Reinstein NH, Goudey-Lefevre J, et al. Effect of dietary copper and zinc levels on tissue copper, zinc, and iron in male rats. Biol Trace Elem Res 1985;8:123-36.
  17. Huang YL, Lu L, Li SF, Luo XG, Liu B. Relative bioavailabilities of organic zinc sources with different chelation strengths for broilers fed a conventional corn-soybean meal diet. J Anim Sci 2009;87:2038-46.
  18. Wang Y, Tang JW, Ma WQ, Feng J. Dietary zinc glycine chelate on growth performance, tissue mineral concentrations, and serum enzyme activity in weanling piglets. Biol Trace Elem Res 2010;133:325-34.
  19. Liu Y, Ma YL, Zhao JM, Vazquez-Anon M, Stein HH. Digestibility and retention of zinc, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, and phosphorus in pigs fed diets containing inorganic or organic minerals. J Anim Sci 2014;92:3407-15.
  20. Yazdankhah S, Rudi K, Bernhoft A. Zinc and copper in animal feeddevelopment of resistance and co-resistance to antimicrobial agents in bacteria of animal origin. Microb Ecol Health Dis 2014;25.
  21. Sun JY, Wang JF, Zi NT, Jing MY, Weng XY. Effects of zinc supplementation and deficiency on bone metabolism and related gene expression in rat. Biol Trace Elem Res 2011;143:394-402.
  22. Prins HJ, Braat AK, Gawlitta D, et al. In vitro induction of alkaline phosphatase levels predicts in vivo bone forming capacity of human bone marrow stromal cells. Stem Cell Res 2014;12:428-40.
  23. Jing MY, Sun JY, Wang JF. The effect of peripheral administration of zinc on food intake in rats fed Zn-adequate or Zn-deficient diets. Biol Trace Elem Res 2008;124:144-56.
  24. Camps J, Bargallo T, Gimenez A, et al. Relationship between hepatic lipid peroxidation and fibrogenesis in carbon tetrachloride-treated rats: effect of zinc administration. Clin Sci (Lond) 1992;83:695-700.
  25. Martin RE, Mahan DC, Hill GM, Link JE, Jolliff JS. Effect of dietary organic microminerals on starter pig performance, tissue mineral concentrations, and liver and plasma enzyme activities. J Anim Sci 2011;89:1042-55.
  26. Webb C, Twedt D. Oxidative stress and liver disease. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 2008;38:125-35.
  27. Zalewska M, Trefon J, Milnerowicz H. The role of metallothionein interactions with other proteins. Proteomics 2014;14:1343-56.
  28. Souza KL, Gurgul-Convey E, Elsner M, Lenzen S. Interaction between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines in insulin-producing cells. J Endocrinol 2008;197:139-50.
  29. Mendel I, Shevach EM. The IL-10-producing competence of Th2 cells generated in vitro is IL-4 dependent. Eur J Immunol 2002;32:3216-24.<3216::AID-IMMU3216>3.0.CO;2-H
  30. Noben-Trauth N, Hu-Li J, Paul WE. Conventional, naive TEX>$CD4^+$ T cells provide an initial source of IL-4 during Th2 differentiation. J Immunol 2000;165:3620-5.

Cited by

  1. Effects of dietary lipid-coated zinc on the antioxidant defense system in the small intestine and liver of piglets vol.34, pp.2, 2018,