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Effect of vitamin E and fat source in sows' diets on immune response of suckling and weaned piglets

Effect of vitamin E and fat source in sows' diets on immune response of suckling and weaned piglets

Journal of Animal Science 69(5): 1833-1842

Thirty-six 7-mo-old gilts were used to study the effects of dietary vitamin E and fat source (5% sunflower oil or animal fat) in pregnant and lactating sow diets on serum vitamin E concentration and on cell-mediated and humoral immune response in suckling and weaned piglets. Six gilts each received one of six diets throughout pregnancy and lactation. The basal diets (13 mg alpha-tocopherol/kg diet) were supplemented with dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate to 48 and 136 mg alpha-tocopherol/kg of feed (average analyzed values). After weaning (at 4 wk of age) all pigs received identical diets (20 mg of alpha-tocopherol/kg feed). One week after weaning, pigs were immunized (i.m. with ovalbumin and tetanus toxoid) and antibody production was measured. Blood samples were taken immediately after birth, at 1 wk after birth, at weaning, and at four weekly intervals after weaning. Samples were analyzed for alpha-tocopherol concentration, total number of leukocytes, T- and B-lymphocytes, lymphocyte stimulation with concanavalin A, lysozyme activity, and immunoglobulin concentrations. It was concluded that a high vitamin E level in the sow's diet increased serum vitamin E concentration of 1-wk-old pigs (P less than .05). Immune response against ovalbumin was increased (P less than .05) at 1 wk of age after immunization for weaned pigs from sows fed the high level of vitamin E. Also, the phagocytic measures of pigs at 1 wk of age were increased by the medium vitamin E level (P less than .05). Fat sources in the sow's diet had no consistent effect on the immunological measures of pigs.

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Accession: 007264661

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PMID: 1906058

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