AniMag' n°7

> Research & Science

Improved gut morphology with zinc

Intestinal villi are a unique structural and functional unit for the luminal sensing, digestion, absorption, secretion, and immune defense in the small intestine. Villus height, crypt depth, and their ratio are effective, yet easy and routine, histological methods for determining intestinal integrity.

Zinc supplementation can limit villus atrophy of piglets which have been challenged by pathogenic bacteria or by a virus (see Research & Science AniMag n°6). A recent study was performed in standard conditions with 128 Duroc × (Landrace × Yorkshire) piglets weaned at 21 days.

They were fed 4 diets:

  • a negative control (NC, 100 ppm Zn from ZnSO4)
  • a positive control (PC, 3000 ppm of standard zinc oxide)
  • two doses of HiZox® (200 ppm and 500 ppm).

Histomorphology of the intestinal mucosa (jejunum) was performed at 28 days on 8 piglets per treatment, using a light microscope equipped with a computer-assisted morpho-metric system. HiZox® showed significant higher villus height, lower crypt depth and higher villus-to-crypt ratio compared to NC (P < 0.05). These effects were similar to those obtained with the pharmacological dosage of standard ZnO.

Source : Peng et al. Animal Science Journal 2019; 00:1-9