Development of the small intestine of piglets in ...

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Title Development of the small intestine of piglets in response to prenatal elevation of glucocorticoids
Author(s) Lius A. Bate, W. Ireland, B. J. Connell, B. Grimmelt
Journal Histology and Histopathology
Date 1991
Volume 6
Issue 2
Start page 207
End page 216
Abstract The effects of prenatal adrenal stimulation and synthetic glucocorticoid supplementation on development of the gastro-intestinal tract of the piglet were investigated. Twelve pregnant sows were treated with either ACTH infusion, Isoflupredone injection or Saline between days 105 and 112 of gestation. Neonatal pigs were weighed, bled and sacrificed at 0 or at 6 h. Piglets sacrificed at 6 h were fed bovine colostrum. Transverse sections were prepared from the duodenum, jejunum and ileum for measurement of the villus amplification factor (VAF) and basal membrane circumference. Sows in the ACTH group showed an elevation in cortisol in response to infusion; this decreased after infusion and then rose again at parturition. Piglets from both the ACTH and Saline groups had more villus surface area per unit of body weight (BW) than those born to Isoflupredone-treated animals. The BW of the ACTH piglets was lower (P less than 0.05) than those of piglets in the other groups. When the weight of the stomach and the Small Intestine (SI) was expressed as a function of the body weight, the stomach and SI:BW ratio was larger (p less than 0.05) in pigs born to ACTH-treated sows. The circumference of the ileum was larger at 6 h than at 0 h. Control pigs had a higher concentration of bovine IgG at 4 and 6 h (P less than 0.05). Observations of the light microscopic preparations indicated a less organized epithelium in both ACTH and isoflupredone pigs sacrificed at 0 h. Light and EM preparations of ileum from ACTH pigs sacrificed at 6 h, showed an abundance of dark-stained vacuoles, characteristic of IgG-containing structures. These became less evident in piglets from the Isoflupredone group and even less so in the control groups. The consequences of these phenomena in terms of absorptive capacity are discussed.

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