A study showed that the addition of sodium butyrate (NaBut) in the diets of weaning piglets has an important role in recovering the intestinal tight junctions having a positive effect on maintaining the gut integrity.
Post-weaning diarrhea is one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in weaning piglets. Feeding sodium butyrate (NaBut) to weaning piglets decreased the incidence of diarrhea, but the mechanism has not been fully elucidated.
The present study (X.Ma, et al. 2012, J.Anim.Sci) evaluated the effect of NaBut on diarrhea in relation to wound healing of intestinal barrier using IPEC-J2 cell model. Cultured cells were scratched to induce wound and then were treated with 4mM NaBut.
The results showed that supplementation of the cells with NaBut significantly promoted the process of wound healing, indicating the protective effects of butyrate on the intestinal mucosa. Butyrate treatment enhanced mRNA expression of the intestinal mucosal tight junction (p<0.05), which suggested that the promotion of wound healing by butyrate is related to the maintenance of the function of the intestinal barrier.
In addition, in the butyrate-treated group, intestinal total superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase (p<0.05), two of the main antioxidant enzymes, as well as glutathione (p<0.05), one of the nonenzymatic antioxidant components, were enhanced whereas the malondialdehyde level, a marker of free radical mediated lipid peroxidation injury, was decreased (p<0.05) compared with the control group.