Effects of feeding L-carnitine to gilts through day 70 of gestation on litter traits and the expression of insulin-like growth factor system components and L-carnitine concentration in foetal tissues

K. R. Brown, R. D. Goodband, M. D. Tokach, S. S. Dritz, J. L. Nelssen, J. E. Minton, J. J. Higgins, X. Lin, J. Odle, J. C. Woodworth, B. J. Johnson

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Abstract

We investigated the influence of supplemental l-carnitine on foetal blood metabolites, litter characteristics, l-carnitine concentration in skeletal muscle and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) axis components in foetal hepatic and skeletal muscle tissues at day 40, 55 and 70 of gestating gilts. A total of 59 gilts (body weight = 137.7 kg) received a constant feed allowance of 1.75 kg/day and a top-dress containing either 0 or 50 ppm of l-carnitine starting on the first day of breeding through the allotted gestation length. Foetuses from the gilts fed diets with l-carnitine tended to be heavier (p = 0.06) and the circulating IGF-II tended to be lower (p = 0.09) at day 70, compared with the foetuses from the control gilts. Insulin-like growth factor-I messenger RNA (mRNA) was lower (p = 0.05) in hepatic tissue in the foetuses collected from gilts fed l-carnitine. Free and total carnitine concentration increased (p < 0.05) in the skeletal muscle from the foetuses collected from gilts fed supplemental l-carnitine. This study showed that l-carnitine had beneficial effects on the average foetal weight at day 70 of gestation, associated with changes in the foetal IGF system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-667
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Volume92
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2008

Keywords

  • Foetus
  • Gestation
  • Gilts
  • L-carnitine
  • Messenger RNA

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