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Physiological and Transcriptional Responses in Weaned Piglets Fed Diets with Varying Phosphorus and Calcium Levels

Gerlinger, Christian, Oster, Michael, Borgelt, Luisa, Reyer, Henry, Muráni, Eduard, Ponsuksili, Siriluck, Polley, Christian, Vollmar, Brigitte, Reichel, Martin, Wolf, Petra, Wimmers, Klaus
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.2
blood serum, bone density, bone metabolism, calcium, diet, gene expression, genes, homeostasis, immune response, messenger RNA, micro-computed tomography, mineral content, mononuclear leukocytes, phosphorus, piglets, transcription (genetics), transcriptomics
Phosphorus (P) is an important element of various metabolic and signalling processes, including bone metabolism and immune function. To elucidate the routes of P homeostasis and utilization, a five-week feeding study was conducted with weaned piglets receiving a diet with recommended amounts of P and Ca (M), or a diet with lower (L) or higher (H) P values and a constant Ca:P ratio. Routes of P utilization were deduced via bone characteristics (MicroCT), genome-wide transcriptomic profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and serum mineral levels. MicroCT revealed significantly lower bone mineral density, trabecular number, and mechanical fracture load in (L). Gene expression analyses showed transcripts of 276 and 115 annotated genes with higher or lower abundance in (H) than (L) that were related to basic cellular and metabolic processes as well as response to stimuli, developmental processes and immune system processes. This study shows the many molecular routes involved in P homeostasis that should be considered to improve endogenous mechanisms of P utilization.