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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci. 2018 Aug;31(8):1325-1335. doi: 10.5713/ajas.17.0799. Epub 2018 Jan 26.

Effects of dietary spermine supplementation on cell cycle, apoptosis, and amino acid transporters of the thymus and spleen in piglets.

Cao W1,2, Wu X1,2, Jia G1,2, Zhao H1,2, Chen X1,2, Wu C1,2, Cai J1,2, Wang J3, Liu G1,2.

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Institute of Animal Nutrition, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, Sichuan 611130, China.
Key Laboratory for Animal Disease-Resistance Nutrition of China Ministry of Education, Chengdu, Sichuan 611130, China.
Maize Research Institute, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu, Sichuan 611130, China.



This study investigated whether spermine supplementation could regulate cell cycle, apoptosis, and amino acid transporter-related genes expression in the thymus and spleen of early weaned piglets.


Eighty female piglets were randomly distributed to receive adequate nutrients supplemented with spermine (0.4 mmol/kg body weight/24 h) or to be provided with restricted nourishment supplemented with normal saline for 7 h or 3, 6, or 9 d in pairs.


Regardless of administration time, spermine supplementation significantly up-regulated cyclin A2 gene expression but down-regulated p21 and cyclin D3 mRNA levels in the thymus and spleen and reduced cyclin E2 gene expression in the thymus of piglets (p< 0.05). Irrespective of the treatment period, the reduced Bax and caspase-3 gene expressions and improved Bcl-2 mRNA level were observed in the thymus and spleen of spermine-administrated piglets (p<0.05). Regardless of supplementation time, spermine intake significantly enhanced the expressions of amino acid transporter-related genes (SLC1A1, SLC1A5, SLC7A1, SLC7A7, and SLC15A1) in both thymus and spleen, as well as SLC7A9 in the spleen of piglets (p<0.05). In addition, extended spermine administration also markedly promoted cell proliferation, depressed apoptosis and modulated amino acid transport (p< 0.05), and such effects were the greatest during prolonged spermine supplementation (6 d) compared to the other time periods (p<0.05).


Spermine supplementation may regulate cell cycle during the G1/S phase, suppress apoptosis and modulate amino acid transport. A period of 6 d of spermine supplementation is required to produce the optimal effects on nutritional implications.


Amino Acid Transporters; Apoptosis; Cell Cycle; Piglet; Spermine

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