Jing Wang and Haifeng Ji* Pages 652 - 660 ( 9 )
The intestinal epithelial barrier plays a crucial role in the health and growth of weaned piglets. Proper epithelial function mainly depends on tight junctions (TJs), which act as both ion channels and a barrier against noxious molecules. TJs are multiprotein complexes consisting of transmembrane and membrane-associated proteins. Because the intestine in piglets is immature and incomplete, its structure and function are easily impaired by various stresses, infections, and food-related factors. Certain nutrients have been demonstrated to participate in intestinal TJ regulation. Probiotics, amino acids, fibers, oligosaccharide, and certain micronutrients can enhance barrier integrity and counteract infections through elevated TJ protein expression and distribution. In this review, the distribution and classification of intestinal TJs is described, the factors influencing TJs after weaning are summarized, and the regulation of weaning piglet intestinal TJs by nutrients is discussed.
Tight junction proteins, intestinal barrier impairment, weaned piglet, structure and distribution, influencing factor, nutrition regulation.
Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, 100097, Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Beijing Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences, Beijing, 100097