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Front. Microbiol. | doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.03181

Dietary Supplementation with Chinese Herbal Residues or Their Fermented Products Modifies the Colonic Microbiota, Bacterial Metabolites, and Expression of Genes Related to Colon Barrier Function in Weaned Piglets

 Jiayi Su1, 2, 3, Qian Zhu1, 3, 4, Yue Zhao2, 3, Li Han2, 3, Yulong Yin1, 3, 4,  François Blachier5, 6, Zhanbin Wang2 and  Xiangfeng Kong1, 3, 4, 7, 8*
  • 1Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture (CAS), China
  • 2College of Animal Science and Technology, Henan University of Science and Technology, China
  • 3Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Nutritional Physiology and Metabolic Process, China
  • 4National Engineering Laboratory for Pollution Control and Waste Utilization in Livestock and Poultry Production, China
  • 5Physiologie de la nutrition et du comportement alimentaire (PNCA), France
  • 6Nutrition Physiology and Ingestive Behavior, France
  • 7Institute of Subtropical Agriculture (CAS), China
  • 8Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

To explore the feasibility of dietary Chinese herbal residue (CHR) supplementation in swine production with the objective of valorization, we examined the effects of dietary supplementation with CHR or fermented CHR products on the colonic ecosystem, i.e. microbiota composition, luminal bacterial metabolites, and expression of genes related to the intestinal barrier function in weaned piglets. We randomly assigned 120 piglets to one of four dietary treatment groups: a blank control group, CHR group (supplement dose of 4 kg/t), fermented CHR group (supplement dose of 4 kg/t), and a positive control group (supplementing 0.04 kg/t virginiamycin, 0.2 kg/t colistin, and 3000 mg/kg zinc oxide). Our results indicated that dietary supplementation with CHR increased (P < 0.05) the mRNA level of E-cadherin compared with that observed in the other three groups, increased (P < 0.05) the mRNA level of zonula occludens-1 and decreased (P < 0.05) the quantity of Bifidobacterium spp. compared with that in the blank control group. Dietary supplementation with fermented CHR decreased (P < 0.05) the concentration of indole compared with that in the positive control group; increased (P < 0.05) the concentrations of short-chain fatty acids compared with observed in the CHR group, as well as the mRNA levels corresponding to interleukin 1 alpha, interleukin 2, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. However, supplementation with fermented CHR decreased (P < 0.05) interleukin 12 levels with respect to those of the blank control group. Collectively, these findings suggest that dietary supplementation with CHR or fermented CHR modifies the gut environment of weaned piglets.

Keywords: bacterial metabolites, Chinese herbal residues, colon barrier function, Fermentation, microbiota, Weaned piglets

Received: 20 Aug 2018; Accepted: 07 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Yuheng Luo, Sichuan Agricultural University, China

Reviewed by:

Yong Su, Nanjing Agricultural University, China
Jun He, Sichuan Agricultural University, China  

Copyright: © 2018 Su, Zhu, Zhao, Han, Yin, Blachier, Wang and Kong. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Xiangfeng Kong, Hunan Provincial Key Laboratory of Animal Nutritional Physiology and Metabolic Process, Changsha, Hunan Province, China, nnkxf@isa.ac.cn