Article

Triennial Growth Symposium: Important roles for L-glutamine in swine nutrition and production

Department of Animal Science and of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, 77843, USA.
Journal of Animal Science (Impact Factor: 1.92). 12/2010; 89(7):2017-30. DOI: 10.2527/jas.2010-3614
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT L-Glutamine (Gln) has traditionally not been considered a nutrient needed in diets for livestock species or even mentioned in classic animal nutrition textbooks. This is due to previous technical difficulties in Gln analysis and the unsubstantiated assumption that animals can synthesize sufficient amounts of Gln to meet their needs. Consequently, the current (1998) version of NRC does not recommend dietary Gln requirements for swine. This lack of knowledge about Gln nutrition has contributed to suboptimal efficiency of global pig production. Because of recent advances in research, Gln is now known to be an abundant AA in physiological fluids and proteins and a key regulator of gene expression. Additionally, Gln can regulate cell signaling via the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway, adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase, extracellular signal-related kinase, Jun kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, and nitric oxide. The exquisite integration of Gln-dependent regulatory networks has profound effects on cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, metabolism, homeostasis, survival, and function. As a result of translating basic research into practice, dietary supplementation with 1% Gln maintains gut health and prevents intestinal dysfunction in low-birth-weight or early-weaned piglets while increasing their growth performance and survival. In addition, supplementing 1% Gln to a corn- and soybean-meal-based diet between d 90 and 114 of gestation ameliorates fetal growth retardation in gilts and reduces preweaning mortality of piglets. Furthermore, dietary supplementation with 1% Gln enhances milk production by lactating sows. Thus, adequate amounts of dietary Gln, a major nutrient, are necessary to support the maximum growth, development, and production performance of swine.

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    • "If hepatic release is reduced, as observed Fig. 2 Rates of amino acid accretion in fetal pigs. Data are compiled from Wu et al. (1999) during dexamethasone-induced parturition, glutamine plays a central role in fetal carbon and nitrogen metabolism and exhibits the highest fetal/maternal plasma ratio among all amino acids in pigs (Wu et al. 2011). Throughout most of the gestation, there is an interorgan exchange of glutamine and glutamate between the placenta and fetal liver. "
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    • "Glutamate and Gln are major metabolic fuels for the mammalian small intestine (Rezaei et al. 2013a; Wu 1998) and represent the most abundant free and protein-bound AA in milk of all mammals (Davis et al. 1994a, b; Wu and Knabe 1994; DeSantiago et al. 1999; Ramirez et al. 2001), and these AA are considered to be essential during the first days of life of the suckling newborn (Rezaei et al. 2013b; Wu et al. 2011b). In sows and rats, mammary uptake of Glu and Gln is quantitatively the highest of all AA (Viña and Williamson 1981; Trottier et al. 1997). "
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    • "The amount of glutamine in the basal maternal diet (2 kg/day) is inadequate for fetal growth and development in swine. Thus, supplementing glutamine to the swine diet during late gestation enhances fetal growth and litter birth weight (Wu et al. 2011). Glutamine and its metabolite, glutamate, also have a beneficial role in stimulating neonatal growth. "
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