The Influence of Apple- or Red-Grape Pomace Enriched Piglet Diet on Blood Parameters, Bacterial Colonisation, and Marker Gene Expression in Piglet White Blood Cells


Proanthocyanidins and flavanoids, both subfamilies of the polyphenols, are highly concentrated in different fruits and berries as well as in fruit pomace. They have shown to exhibit anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, and im- mune-modulatory effects in vertebrates. Herein the effect of additional apple pomace or red-grape pomace in conven- tional piglet starter feeds were investigated in 36 young growing piglets. Immunological marker gene expression was quantified by quantitative real-time RT-PCR in white blood cells, and intestinal bacterial flora was investigated from weaning to three weeks post weaning. Polyphenol content in red-grape pomace, gut content and tissues were analyzed with HPLC. Flavan-3-ols (epicatechin and catechin) and proanthocyanidins (B1, B2 and C1) were identified in the gas- tro-intestinal tract content, whereas only traces could be detected in various piglet organs. The blood parameters, he- moglobin and hematocrit, were affected and down-regulated in all groups over testing period. In both pomace treated groups more thrombocytes were present compared to the standard feeding group. It turns out, that the pomace diets had greatest impact on the bacterial content in the colon. Results demonstrate that feeding apple pomace and red- grape pomace tended to increase the number of total colonic bacteria. Steptococci/Enterococci increased in the red- grape pomace. C. perfringens was not detectable at the second time point. The number of lactobacilli increased in both applied diets. The number of Clostridium perfringens decreased with the age of the piglets. Trends of mRNA expression changes were found in white blood cell (WBC) between different feeding regimens, since the expression variability in the groups was very high. Between the different time points there were significant differences within the apple pomace group, where TNF? (p = 0.033), NF?B (p = 0.024) and Caspase 3 (p = 0.019) mRNA expression increased signifi- cantly during treatment. We conclude that both polyphenol rich feedings have the potential to positively influence the intestinal flora, blood parameters, and WBC mRNA gene expression pattern of immunological marker genes.

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J. Sehm, D. Treutter, H. Lindermayer, H. Meyer and M. Pfaffl, "The Influence of Apple- or Red-Grape Pomace Enriched Piglet Diet on Blood Parameters, Bacterial Colonisation, and Marker Gene Expression in Piglet White Blood Cells," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 2 No. 4, 2011, pp. 366-376. doi: 10.4236/fns.2011.24052.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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