Effects of recovery from short-term heat stress exposure on feed intake, plasma amino acid profiles, and metabolites in growing pigs
Received: Jan 12, 2021; Revised: Feb 26, 2021; Accepted: Mar 03, 2021
Published Online: Mar 04, 2021
Heat stress (HS) damages health and decreases performance variables in pigs, and if severe enough, causes mortality. However, metabolic changes under HS and recovery following HS are poorly understood. Therefore, this study was aimed to expose the essential mechanisms by which growing pigs respond to HS and the temporal pattern of plasma concentrations (PC) of amino acids (AAs) and metabolites. Crossbred male growing pigs were penned separately and allowed to adapt to thermal-neutral (TN) conditions (20°C and 80% relative humidity; TN(-1D)). On the first day, all pigs were exposed to HS for 24 h (36°C and 60% relative humidity), then to TN conditions for 5 days (TN(2D) to TN(5D)). All pigs had ad libitum access to water and 3 kg feed twice daily. Rectal temperature (RT) and feed intake (FI) were determined daily. HS pigs had higher RT (40.72°C) and lower (50%) FI than TN(-1D) pigs (p < 0.01). The PC of indispensable (threonine, valine, and methionine) and dispensable (cysteine and tyrosine) AAs were higher (p < 0.05) in HS than TN(-1D) pigs and remained increased during recovery time. Nonprotein α-aminobutyric acid and β-alanine concentrations were higher (p < 0.05) in HS than TN(-1D) pigs. The metabolite concentration of creatinine was higher (p < 0.01) under HS treatment than other treatments, but that of alanine and leucine remained increased (p < 0.05) through 5 d of recovery. In summary, some major differences were found in plasma AA profiles and metabolites between HS- and TN-condition pigs. This indicates that the HS pigs were forced to alter their metabolism, and these results provide information about mechanisms of acute HS responses relative to the recovery time.