Author(s): Drescher K, Roos N, Pfeuffer M, Seyfert HM, Schrezenmeir J,
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Abstract Performance of biological functions of lactoferrin in the small intestine requires at least some resistance to degradation. Therefore, we studied prececal digestibility of lactoferrin in comparison to casein both in suckling and adult miniature pigs, applying 15N-labeled proteins. In study 1, 43 piglets (10-d-old), deprived of food for 12 h received 10 mL of sow's milk supplemented with 120 mg of 15N-labeled protein (porcine or bovine lactoferrin or bovine casein). Piglets were anesthetized 150 min later, after which the small intestine was excised, cut into three sections, and chyme was collected. In study 2, nine food-deprived boars fitted with T-canulae at the terminal ileum were given two semisynthetic experimental meals (204 g) in a cross-over design, 2 wk apart. One contained 7.5\% (g/100 g) 15N-labeled bovine casein, the other 1.25\% 15N-labeled bovine lactoferrin. Both were adjusted to 15\% total protein with nonlabeled casein. Ileal chyme was collected from the canula over 33 h postprandially. All diets contained the indigestible marker chromic oxide. 15N-digestibility of lactoferrin, both porcine (84.4 +/- 3.2\%) and bovine (82.3 +/- 4.8\%), was significantly lower than casein digestibility (97.6 +/- 0.5\%) in the distal small intestine of suckling piglets (P < 0.05). Based on immunoblotting after acrylamide electrophoresis, 4.5\% of non- and partially digested lactoferrin was found in the last third of the small intestine of piglets. In adult miniature pigs there was no difference in 15N-digestibility of bovine lactoferrin compared to bovine casein (90.7 +/- 1.9\% vs. 93.9 +/- 1.0\%, P > 0.05). In suckling miniature pigs, the reduced digestibility of lactoferrin may provide the prerequisite for biological actions along the whole intestinal tract. The source of lactoferrin, porcine or bovine, made no difference in this respect.
This article was published in J Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine