Dietary supplementation with 0.8% L-arginine between days 0 and 25 of gestation reduces litter size in gilts

Xilong Li, Fuller W. Bazer, Gregory A. Johnson, Robert C. Burghardt, David W. Erikson, James W. Frank, Thomas E. Spencer, Izuru Shinzato, Guoyao Wu

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Abstract

In this study, we determined the effects of L-arginine supplementation during early pregnancy on embryonic/fetal survival and growth in gilts. Gilts were housed individually in pens and fed twice daily 1 kg of a corn- and soybean meal-based diet supplemented with 0.0, 0.4, or 0.8% L-arginine (wt:wt) between d 0 and 25 of gestation (10 gilts/treatment). The diets were made isonitrogenous by addition of appropriate amounts of L-alanine. At d 25 of gestation, gilts were fed L-alanine or L-arginine and hysterectomized 30 min later to obtain uteri and conceptuses (embryos and associated fetal membranes and fluids). Dietary supplementation with 0.4 or 0.8% L-arginine enhanced (P < 0.05) its concentrations in maternal plasma (64 and 98%, respectively) as well as the vascularity of chorionic and allantoic membranes, compared with the control group. Reproductive performance [numbers of corpora lutea (CL) and fetuses, placental and fetal weights, and embryonic mortality] did not differ between the 0.4% Arg and control groups. However, supplementation with 0.8% L-arginine decreased (P < 0.05) uterine weight (-20%), total number of fetuses (-24%), CL number (-17%), total fetal weight (-34%), total volume of allantoic and amniotic fluids (-34 to 42%), concentrations of progesterone in maternal plasma (-33%), as well as total amounts of progesterone (-35%), estrone (-40%), and estrone sulfate (-37%) in allantoic fluid, compared with the control group. These results indicate that dietary supplementation with 0.8% L-arginine between d 0 and 25 of gestation, while increasing placental vascularity, adversely affects the reproductive performance of gilts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1111-1116
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume140
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Cite this

Li, X., Bazer, F. W., Johnson, G. A., Burghardt, R. C., Erikson, D. W., Frank, J. W., Spencer, T. E., Shinzato, I., & Wu, G. (2010). Dietary supplementation with 0.8% L-arginine between days 0 and 25 of gestation reduces litter size in gilts. Journal of Nutrition, 140(6), 1111-1116. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.110.121350