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J Anim Sci. 1995 Jan;73(1):159-65.

Effects of excess dietary leucine and leucine catabolites on growth and immune responses in weanling pigs.

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Department of Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames 50011.


Two experiments with weanling pigs were conducted to study the effects on growth and immune responses of excess dietary L-leucine (LEU) and dietary supplementation with the LEU catabolites, alpha-ketoisocaproic acid (KIC) and beta-hydroxymethyl butyrate (HMB). In Exp. 1, 80 pigs were randomly allocated according to initial BW and ancestry to five replications of four dietary treatments (four pigs/pen). The control diet contained wheat, oat groats, menhaden fish meal, and dried whey and provided 1.12% LEU. Treatment diets were the control plus 1.12% LEU, 1.12% KIC, or .4% HMB. The experiment lasted 6 wk. In Exp. 2, 36 pigs were randomly allocated to nine replications of four dietary treatments in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement. Treatments consisted of two concentrations of dietary LEU and a daily i.m. injection of dexamethasone (DEX) or saline. Pigs were fed a control corn-soybean meal and dried whey diet (1.56% LEU) or the control diet plus 1.56% of crystalline LEU. Pigs were individually penned and the experiment lasted 4 wk. Growth performance, plasma free amino acids, plasma urea nitrogen, and humoral and cellular immune responses were measured. Results indicated that LEU concentrations in practical diets and supplementation with KIC and HMB (Exp. 1) did not detrimentally affect growth and immune response. The high LEU concentration and DEX injection used in Exp. 2, however, were detrimental to both growth and immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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