Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) usually refers to the retarded growth and development of the fetus or its inner organs during the perinatal period due to various factors, which not only reduces the birth quality and survival rate of piglets, but also negatively affected their growth and development after birth (Longo et al., 2014). The incidence of IUGR in pigs is as high as 20%, which causes a huge loss to the pig production (Wu et al., 2004).
Li et al. (2015) and He et al. (2016) conducted several studies regarding the dietary tributyrin intervention on the IUGR piglets. Three treatments were included in the studies, including the normal group (NBW group, normal piglets + basic artificial milk) , the IUGR group (IUGR piglets + basic artificial milk), and the tributyrin-fed group (IT group IUGR piglets + basic artificial milk + 0.1% tributyrin). The results are as followed:
Improves the pancreas and liver development 研究发现，IUGR 组乳猪的胰腺和肝脏的重量显著低于正常组；对IUGR仔猪采用三丁酸甘油酯（TB）营养干预后，胰腺重量较IUGR组提高了31.03% (P<0.05)，肝脏重量较IUGR组提高了52.32% (P<0.05)，与正常组相比均无显著差异。IUGR组仔猪的肝脏组织中央静脉和门管区充血较严重，采用三丁酸甘油酯（TB）营养干预后，则无上述变化。
Their results indicated that the weights of pancreas and liver in the IUGR pigs were obviously lower than that in the normal ones (P<0.05), while dietary tributyrin intervention on the IUGR pigs increased the weights of these organs by 31.03% and 52.32% when compared with those in the IUGR pigs consuming normal feed, respectively. The central vein and portal area of liver in the IUGR pigs were seriously congested, while no such pathologic changes were observed in response to dietary tributyrin intervention.
Improves the intestinal villi morphology
Ameliorates the liver congestion
Improves the pancreatic enzyme activity
The activity of trypsin, pancreatic lipase and amylase in the IUGR piglets were obviously lower than those in the normal pigs (P < 0.05), while activity of these three enzyme in the IUGR pigs with dietary tributyrin intervention were increased by 36.92%, 52.30% and 141.37%, respectively.
Reduces the inflammation response
IUGR仔猪的肝脏中肿瘤坏死因子（TNF-α）与白细胞介素4（IL-4）的水平高于正常组 （P < 0.05），对IUGR仔猪采用三丁酸甘油酯营养干预后，肝脏中TNF-α和IL-4的含量分别降低了35.20%和20.52%。
The liver contents of tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α) and interleukin 4 (IL-4) were significantly higher in the IUGR piglets than those in the normal ones, while these in the IUGR pigs with dietary tributyrin intervention were reduced by 35.20% and 20.52%, respectively.
Improves the antioxidant capacity
SOD和GSH是体内重要的抗氧化剂和自由基清除剂，GSH-Px是机体一种重要的过氧化物分解酶，MDA是体内脂质过氧化产物之一。对IUGR仔猪采用三丁酸甘油酯营养干预后， 体内SOD、GSH和GSH-Px的活性明显提高（P < 0.05），MDA含量显著降低；相关指标均优于正常的仔猪。
The SOD and GSH are important antioxidants and free radical scavengers of the body, while GSH-Px is an important organic peroxide decomposition enzyme, and MDA is one the end products of lipid peroxidation. Dietary tributyrin intervention increased the activities of SOD, GSH and GSH-Px, and reduced the MDA content in the IUGR piglets, respectively.
Ameliorates the mitochondria function of the liver
Mitochondria is the part where nutrients are oxidized and metabolized to produce ATP, and it is the main place where oxygen free radicals are produced as well. Mitochondria content is extremely high in the liver tissues. SDH is the only enzyme embedded in the inner membrane of mitochondrial in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. MDH is an important oxidoretase, and Mn-SOD mainly exists in the mitochondrial matrix. As an antioxidant, Mn-SOD plays an important role for diseases prevention inside the body. The results showed that dietary tributyrin intervention increased the activity of SDH, MDH and Mn-SOD in liver of the IUGR piglets (P < 0.05).
（1）三丁酸甘油酯提高了IUGR仔猪胰腺、肝脏的重量；Dietary tributyrin intervention increases the weight of pancreas and liver of IUGR piglets;
Dietary tributyrin intervention improves the intestinal morphology of IUGR piglets;
Dietary tributyrin intervention relieves liver congestion in IUGR piglets;
Dietary tributyrin intervention enhances the activity of various pancreatic enzyme in IUGR piglets;
（5）三丁酸甘油酯降低了IUGR仔猪的炎性反应；Dietary tributyrin intervention reduces inflammation responses in IUGR piglets;
Dietary tributyrin intervention improves the antioxidant capacity of IUGR piglets;
Dietary tributyrin intervention improves the mitochondrial function of liver of IUGR piglet.
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