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Open Access Using the Noninvasive 13C-Sucrose Breath Test to Measure Intestinal Sucrase Activity in Swine

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The sucrose breath test (SBT) is a simple noninvasive technique used currently to determine intestinal absorptive function in humans and rodents. However, to date, the test has not been adapted for use in swine. During weaning, intestinal sucrase activity in piglets temporarily declines in response to stressors and is commonly used as a marker of the intestinal response to weaning. Here we assessed the sucrose dose needed for using the SBT in piglets. Six randomly allocated piglets were orogastrically gavaged with 13C-labeled sucrose at a dose of 2 g/kg; breath samples were collected for measurement of 13CO2 on days 0 (approximately 17 h after weaning), 5, and 10 after weaning. The resultant SBT value (cumulative dose at 90 min) was decreased by 46% on day 5 after weaning relative to baseline levels, consistent with temporal changes in gastrointestinal sucrase activity associated with weaning. We conclude that a sucrose dose of 2 g/kg is satisfactory to conduct SBT studies in piglets. With further development, the SBT may provide a new tool to noninvasively monitor digestive function in weaned piglets, to assess the effects of nutritional strategies on intestinal health, and as an indicator of gut integrity and function in swine models of human gastrointestinal disease.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus, Roseworthy, Australia 2: School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus, Roseworthy, Australia. [email protected] 3: School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Roseworthy Campus, Roseworthy, Centre for Paediatric and Adolescent Gastroenterology, Children, Youth and Women's Health Service, North Adelaide, Australia

Publication date: 2012-12-01

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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