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Intestinal morphology and enteral nutrient absorption of pigeon pea seed meal in piglets

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This study was conducted to establish the relationship between histological alterations of the intestinal villus and intestinal function, and to histologically assess the enteral nutrient absorption of raw pigeon pea seed meal (PM). Piglets were allotted into five groups: feed withdrawal for 3 days or 5 days, refeeding soybean meal (SM) or PM for 2 days after the 3-day fast, and access ad libitum to conventional feed for the last 2 days without fasting. After the end of each experiment, the intestinal segment and duodenum of each piglet were processed and examined by light and scanning electron microscopy, respectively. After fasting, villus height, cell area and cell mitosis number were decreased in most parts of each intestinal segment, and duodenal villus tips had a smooth surface. After refeeding SM or PM, the decrease in body weight improved, but there was not a significant difference between them. The atrophic morphology of the intestine was reversed by refeeding SM, suggesting that the intestinal villi might be activated by absorption of SM. On the other hand, in the piglets refed PM, the recovery of light microscopic parameters and duodenal villus tip morphology was less clear than with SM. The present histological results suggest that although the absorption of PM is less than that of SM, the PM nutrients might be effectively absorbed, even in the raw form, and establish that in pigs intestinal histological alterations correspond well with intestinal absorptive function.
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Keywords: enteral nutrient absorption; pigeon pea seed; piglet, refeeding; scanning electron microscopy

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Agricultural Production, Maejo University, Chiang Mai, Thailand and

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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