Effects of added fermentable carbohydrates in the diet on intestinal proinflammatory cytokine-specific mRNA content in weaning piglets

S. Pié, A. Awati, S. Vida, I. Falluel, B.A. Williams, I.P. Oswald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


There is increasing evidence showing that dietary supplementation with prebiotics can be effective in the treatment of intestinal inflammation. Because weaning time is characterized by rapid intestinal inflammation, this study investigated the effect of a diet supplemented with a combination of 4 fermentable carbohydrates (lactulose, inulin, sugarbeet pulp, and wheat starch) on the mRNA content of proinflammatory cytokines in newly weaned piglets. Cytokines (IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12p40, IL-18, and tumor necrosis factor-) were analyzed using a semiquantitative reverse-transcription PCR technique on d 1, 4, and 10 in the ileum and colon of piglets fed either a test diet (CHO) or a control diet. In addition to the diet, the effect of enforced fasting on cytokine mRNA content was also evaluated. No effect of fasting was observed on the pro-inflammatory cytokine mRNA content. Our results showed that the CHO diet induced an up-regulation of IL-6 mRNA content in the colon of piglets 4 d postweaning. This up-regulation was specific for the animals fed the CHO diet and was not observed in animals fed the control diet. An increase in IL-1ß mRNA content was also observed on d 4 postweaning in all of the piglets. Correlations between proinflammatory cytokines and the end-products of fermentation indicated that the regulation of cytokines may be linked with some of the fermentation end-products such as branched-chain fatty acids, which are in turn end-products of protein fermentation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-683
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Publication statusPublished - 2007



  • total parenteral-nutrition
  • lactic-acid bacteria
  • inflammatory responses
  • weanling piglets
  • induced colitis
  • growing pigs
  • expression
  • performance
  • absorption
  • prebiotics

Cite this