Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Intestinal mucin flow and goblet cell maturation are enhanced by carboxymethylcellulose in piglets

Intestinal mucin, a family of glycoproteins secreted by goblet cells, is the main constituent of the mucus protecting the gastrointestinal tract. For optimal mucosal protection, both quantitative and qualitative characteristics of mucin are essential. To evaluate how viscosity influences ileal apparent digestibility and mucin biology, a highly viscous non-fermentable soluble polysaccharide, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), was fed to weaned piglets during 15 days.

The ileal crude mucin concentration was determined by ethanol precipitation and changes in goblet cell subtypes were analyzed by histochemistry of ileal and colonic tissues. As expected, CMC increased significantly the viscosity of ileal digesta and the moisture of feces (P < 0.001). The crude mucin concentration and output at the ileum were significantly higher (P < 0.05) with CMC than with control diet.

Increasing intestinal content viscosity with CMC had no significant effects on the ileal apparent digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, nitrogen and minerals. The number of total ileal goblet cell per villi also was significantly higher (+30%, P < 0.05) with the CMC diet as compared to the control. This increase was essentially accounted for by increased numbers of acidic and acidic sulfated mucin-containing cells (+30%, P < 0.05). Trends (P = 0.06) towards decreased numbers of neutral and acidic mucin-containing cells in ileal crypts were also noted. In conclusion, increasing intestinal content viscosity with CMC in weaned piglets increased the ileal mucin output and numbers and maturation of goblet cells in ileal villi without effects on diet apparent digestibility.

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Jean-Paul LALLES, (Senior Scientist, coordinator of the whole project)
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