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Open AccessArticle

Iron Promotes Intestinal Development in Neonatal Piglets

Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed Science (Eastern of China), Ministry of Agriculture, Key Laboratory of Animal Feed and Nutrition of Zhejiang Province, College of Animal Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Science, Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310021, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 726;
Received: 29 April 2018 / Revised: 2 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 June 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
Early nutrition is key to promoting gut growth and education of the immune system. Although iron deficiency anemia has long been recognized as a serious iron disorder, the effects of iron supplementation on gut development are less clear. Therefore, using suckling piglets as the model for iron deficiency, we assessed the impacts of iron supplementation on hematological status, gut development, and immunity improvement. Piglets were parenterally supplied with iron dextran (FeDex, 60 mg Fe/kg) by intramuscular administration on the third day after birth and slaughtered at the age of two days, five days, 10 days, and 20 days. It was expected that iron supplementation with FeDex improved the iron status with higher levels of serum iron, ferritin, transferrin, and iron loading in the liver by regulating the interaction of hepcidin and ferroportin (FPN). FeDex supplementation increased villus length and crypt depth, attenuated the pathological status of the duodenum, and was beneficial to intestinal mucosa. FeDex also influenced the intestinal immune development by stimulating the cytokines’ production of the intestine and enhancing the phagocytotic capacity of monocytes. Overall, the present study suggested that iron supplementation helped promote the development of the intestine by improving its morphology, which maintains its mucosal integrity and enhances the expression of immuno-associated factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: iron; neonatal; immunity; intestine; cytokine iron; neonatal; immunity; intestine; cytokine
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Pu, Y.; Li, S.; Xiong, H.; Zhang, X.; Wang, Y.; Du, H. Iron Promotes Intestinal Development in Neonatal Piglets. Nutrients 2018, 10, 726.

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