Amino Acids

, Volume 50, Issue 8, pp 1089–1100 | Cite as

Dietary supplementation with an amino acid blend enhances intestinal function in piglets

  • Dan Yi
  • Baocheng Li
  • Yongqing Hou
  • Lei Wang
  • Di Zhao
  • Hongbo Chen
  • Tao Wu
  • Ying Zhou
  • Binying Ding
  • Guoyao Wu
Original Article


The traditionally classified nutritionally non-essential amino acids are now known to be insufficiently synthesized for maximal growth and optimal health in piglets. This study determined the effects of dietary supplementation with an amino acid blend (AAB; glutamate:glutamine:glycine:arginine:N-acetylcysteine = 5:2:2:1:0.5) on piglet growth performance and intestinal functions. Sixteen piglets (24-day-old) were randomly assigned to a corn and soybean meal-based diet supplemented with 0.99% alanine (isonitrogenous control) or 1% AAB. On day 20 of the trial, blood and intestinal tissue samples were obtained from piglets. Compared with the control, AAB supplementation reduced (P < 0.05) diarrhoea incidence; plasma alanine aminotransferase and diamine oxidase activities; intestinal concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, malondialdehyde, and heat shock protein-70, and intestinal mRNA levels for interleukin-1β, interferon-γ, and chemokine (C–X–C motif) ligand-9; and the numbers of Enterobacterium family, Enterococcus genus and Clostridium coccoides in the colon digesta. Furthermore, AAB supplementation enhanced (P < 0.05): the plasma concentrations of serine, aspartate, glutamate, cysteine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, lysine, arginine, citrulline, ornithine, taurine, and γ-aminobutyric acid; intestinal villus height and surface area, villus height/crypt depth ratio, antioxidative enzyme activities, and mRNA levels for porcine β-defensin-1, sodium-independent amino acid transporters (b0,+AT and y+LAT1), aquaporin (AQP) 3, AQP8, AQP10, nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 and glutathione S-transferase omega-2, and protein abundances of AQP3, AQP4, claudin-1, occludin and myxovirus resistance 1; and the numbers of Bifidobacterium genus and Lactobacillus genus in the colon digesta. Collectively, these comprehensive results indicate that dietary AAB supplementation plays an important role in improving piglet growth and intestinal function.


Amino acid blend Intestinal function Piglets 



Amino acid blend



b0,+ AT

Sodium-independent amino acid transporter


Chemokine (C–X–C motif) ligand


l-type amino acid transporter 1


Nutritionally non-essential amino acids


Tris-buffered saline with Tween 20



This research was jointly supported by National Key R&D Program of China (2016YFD0501210), the Program of National Agricultural Research Outstanding Talents of China (2015), Hubei Provincial Technology and Innovation Program (2016ABA121), Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2016CFA070), the Hubei Hundred Talent Program, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants of (2014-67015-21770) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and Texas AgriLife Research (H-8200).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics statement

All experimental procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Wuhan Polytechnic University.

Informed consent

All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Supplementary material

726_2018_2586_MOESM1_ESM.docx (30 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 30 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hubei Collaborative Innovation Center for Animal Nutrition and Feed Safety, Hubei Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Feed ScienceWuhan Polytechnic UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.Department of Animal ScienceTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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