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Digestive enzyme activities of pancreas and intestinal digesta in streptozotocin-induced diabetic piglets

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Six (Landrace × Large White) × Duroc crossbred, castrated weanling piglets were used to evaluate the effect of a streptozotocin (STZ) injection to induce diabetes on the activities of digestive enzymes derived from the pancreas (lipase, amylase, trypsin and chymotrypsin) in the pancreas and intestinal digesta. Fasting plasma glucose after the administration of STZ was maintained at the level of 302–491 mg/dL during this experiment, compared with the level of 89–125 mg/dL in the control group, and they were defined as the STZ-induced diabetic piglets for about 7 weeks. Although their bodyweight increased in proportion to a quadratic curve (P < 0.0001) during 49 days after the administration of STZ, the growth of the STZ-induced diabetic piglets was slower compared with the control. The STZ-injection did not affect the percentage of the pancreas in bodyweight. The administration of STZ in the piglets tended to accelerate the activity of lipase (P = 0.06) and depress the activity of amylase (P = 0.15) or chymotrypsin (P = 0.18), as units/kg bodyweight, in the pancreas. In the case of measurement as units/kg bodyweight, the activities of intestinal digesta in the STZ group showed a tendency to be higher than those in control group, irrespective of the sort of enzymes. In conclusion, STZ-induced diabetic piglets have a moderate digestive ability and the administration of exogenous digestive enzymes is not necessary when they are used as a diabetic animal model.
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Keywords: digestive enzyme; intestinal digesta; pancreas; piglet; streptozotocin

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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