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J Anim Sci. 1997 Feb;75(2):437-45.

Development of digestive enzymes in pigs with emphasis on lipolytic activity in the stomach and pancreas.

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Danish Institute of Animal Science, Department of Nutrition, Research Centre Foulum, Tjele, Denmark.


The effect of age and weaning on the activities of digestive enzymes with emphasis on the lipolytic enzymes before and after weaning was investigated. The activities of amylase, chymotrypsin, trypsin, carboxyl ester hydrolase, pancreatic lipase, and colipase in pancreatic tissue and the activity of gastric lipase in the cardiac mucosa of the stomach in 45 pigs were response variables. The activity of trypsin was not affected by weaning and the rate of increase was similar during the whole experiment. The activities of chymotrypsin and amylase decreased at weaning (P < .05). After weaning the activity of chymotrypsin increased more slowly than before weaning (P < .001), whereas the rate of increase of amylase activity remained unchanged. Lipase, colipase, and carboxyl ester hydrolase activities decreased at weaning (P < .001), whereas gastric lipase activity increased at weaning (P < .01). The development of lipase, colipase, and carboxyl ester hydrolase activity decreased postweaning (P < .01), whereas gastric lipase activity increased before weaning and remained constant after weaning. Pancreatic lipase had a considerably higher capacity for hydrolyzing tributyrin, and the total activity of pancreatic lipase was up to 600 times higher than that of gastric lipase. The lipolytic enzymes displayed a non-parallel pattern of development, and we suggest that this reflects the importance of these enzymes during the suckling and postweaning phases, respectively. However, the significance of gastric lipase for the digestion of fat in pigs remains to be elucidated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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