Influence of Different Feed Physical Forms on Mandibular Gland in Growing Pigs
Dall'Aglio, C.; Mercati, F.; De Felice, E.; Tardella, F.Maria.; Kamphues, J.; Cappai, M.Grazia.; Scocco, P.
Animals: An Open Access Journal from Mdpi 10(5)
Simple Summary The study was carried out on growing pigs fed with different dietary treatments based on different grinding intensities and compactions of the same diet. Chewing acts are associated with salivary production and different extents of saliva fluidity also depend on the specific glycoconjugate content. Therefore, in order to have information about the modifications induced by different feed physical forms in the pig mandibular gland, the glycohistochemical profile and the presence of aquaporin 5, a channel protein modulating the saliva fluidity, were investigated. In addition, to have wider information about the apelinergic system function, presence and localization of both apelin and its receptor were studied. Findings suggest that the different mechanical stimuli in the mouth linked to different feed physical forms likely allow one to diverse physiological behavior of the pig mandibular gland. The intense chewing activity linked to the highest feed compaction and hardness promotes an increase in pig mandibular gland secretion. In addition, saliva becomes more fluid and richer in acid glycoconjugates in order to better lubricate the bolus and protect the mouth mucosae. The apelinergic system is likely involved in the above modifications enhancing both the fluidity and the quantity of serous saliva by the pig mandibular gland. Abstract A study was performed on the mandibular gland obtained from growing pigs enrolled in a wide research project aiming to test the effects of different feed physical forms on animal health, production and welfare. We used 48 pigs fed for four weeks with different dietary treatments based on different grinding intensities and compactions of the same diet, namely coarsely ground meal (CM), finely ground pelleted (FP) and coarsely ground pelleted (CP) diets. Samples were analyzed by conventional histochemistry to identify the glycohistochemical profile and by immunohistochemistry to localize aquaporin 5, apelin and apelin receptor. Statistical elaborations were performed using the Stats R-package, version 3.5.3. Pig mandibular gland adenomere increased both the quantity and acidity of produced glycoconjugates from CM to FP and CP diets. This probably calls forth higher watery saliva, thus promoting a better feed softening facilitating the amalgamation of the bolus. Mandibular gland increased aquaporin 5 positivity in the CP diet, supporting the hypothesis of an augmented demand for water. Based on apelin/receptor localization, it was hypothesized that in pig mandibular gland the apelinergic system likely performs an endocrine control on the demilunes activity and a paracrine control on ducts, facilitating the production of a more fluid saliva.