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Open AccessArticle

Cecal Infusion of Sodium Propionate Promotes Intestinal Development and Jejunal Barrier Function in Growing Pigs

by 1,2, 1,2, 1,2,3 and 1,2,3,*
1
Laboratory of Gastrointestinal Microbiology, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Gastrointestinal Nutrition and Animal Health, College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
2
National Center for International Research on Animal Gut Nutrition, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
3
National Experimental Teaching Demonstration Center of Animal Science, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(6), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060284
Received: 21 April 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 24 May 2019 / Published: 28 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Pigs)
Microbial-derived short-chain fatty acids can exert influence on intestinal development and intestinal barrier function. Usually, it is well known that short-chain fatty acid butyrate provides energy for the colonic cell turnover and maintains the integrity of the colonic epithelium. However, the effect of short-chain fatty acid propionate on intestinal development and jejunal barrier function is given less attention. In this study, we found that cecal infusion of propionate promoted development of the jejunum and colon, and selectively enhanced jejunal tight junction protein expression. These results suggest that propionate by microbial fermentation in the hindgut has an important role in intestinal development and gut health.
Short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced by microbial fermentation facilitate the differentiation and proliferation of intestinal epithelium. However, the role of individual SCFAs, such as propionate, on intestinal development is still unclear. In the present study, sixteen barrows fitted with a cecal fistula were randomly divided into two groups for cecal infusion of either saline (control group) or sodium propionate (propionate group). After 28 days, the length and the relative weight of intestinal segments were calculated, the intestinal morphology was assessed, and the expression of tight junction protein was measured using qPCR and Western blotting. Compared to the saline group, the length of the colon was significantly increased in the propionate group (p < 0.05). The jejunal villi length and villi/crypt ratio in the propionate group were significantly higher than in the saline group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, propionate infusion significantly upregulated the mRNA levels of Claudin-4 and the expression of Claudin-1, Claudin-4, and Occludin protein in the jejunal mucosa (p < 0.05). Collectively, these findings revealed that the short-chain fatty acid propionate in the hindgut contributed to intestinal development, and selectively enhanced jejunal tight junction protein expression. View Full-Text
Keywords: propionate; intestinal development; tight junction; pigs propionate; intestinal development; tight junction; pigs
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, Y.; Chen, H.; Zhu, W.; Yu, K. Cecal Infusion of Sodium Propionate Promotes Intestinal Development and Jejunal Barrier Function in Growing Pigs. Animals 2019, 9, 284. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060284

AMA Style

Zhang Y, Chen H, Zhu W, Yu K. Cecal Infusion of Sodium Propionate Promotes Intestinal Development and Jejunal Barrier Function in Growing Pigs. Animals. 2019; 9(6):284. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060284

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Yanan; Chen, Huizi; Zhu, Weiyun; Yu, Kaifan. 2019. "Cecal Infusion of Sodium Propionate Promotes Intestinal Development and Jejunal Barrier Function in Growing Pigs" Animals 9, no. 6: 284. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9060284

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