An experiment was conducted to test the hypothesis that increased dietary Trp is needed in high-Leu diets for growing pigs to prevent a drop in plasma serotonin and hypothalamic serotonin concentrations and to maintain growth performance of animals. A total of 144 growing pigs (initial weight: 28.2 ± 1.9 kg) were assigned to 9 treatments in a randomized complete block design with 2 blocks, 2 pigs per pen, and 8 replicate pens per treatment. The 9 diets were formulated in a 3 × 3 factorial with 3 levels of dietary Leu (101%, 200%, or 299% standardized ileal digestible [SID] Leu:Lys), and 3 levels of dietary Trp (18%, 23%, or 28% SID Trp:Lys). A basal diet that met requirements for SID Leu and SID Trp was formulated and 8 additional diets were formulated by adding crystalline L-Leu and (or) L-Trp to the basal diet. Individual pig weights were recorded at the beginning of the experiment and at the conclusion of the 21-d experiment. On the last day of the experiment, 1 pig per pen was sacrificed, and blood and hypothalamus samples were collected to measure plasma urea N, plasma serotonin, and hypothalamic serotonin concentrations. Results indicated that increasing dietary Trp increased (P < 0.05) hypothalamic serotonin, whereas increases (P < 0.05) in average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI) were observed only in pigs fed diets containing excess Leu. Increasing dietary Leu reduced (P < 0.05) ADG, ADFI, and hypothalamic serotonin. However, the increase in ADG and ADFI caused by dietary Trp was greater if 299% SID Leu:Lys was provided than if 101% SID Leu:Lys was provided (interaction, P < 0.05). Plasma Leu concentration was positively affected by dietary Leu and negatively affected by dietary Trp, but the negative effect of Trp was greater if 299% SID Leu:Lys was provided than if 101% SID Leu:Lys was provided (interaction, P < 0.05). Plasma concentration of Trp was positively affected by increased dietary Trp and increased dietary Leu, but the increase in plasma concentration of Trp was greater if Leu level was at 101% SID Leu:Lys ratio than at 299% SID Leu:Lys ratio (interaction, P < 0.05). In conclusion, increased dietary Leu reduced ADG, ADFI, and hypothalamic serotonin concentration, and influenced metabolism of several indispensable amino acids, but Trp supplementation partly overcame the negative effect of excess Leu. This demonstrates the importance of Trp in regulation of hypothalamic serotonin, and therefore, feed intake of pigs.
- branched-chain amino acids
ASJC Scopus subject areas