Effects of ergot alkaloids on liver function of piglets can be detected by the [(13)C]methacetin breath test irrespective of oral or intramuscular route of tracer administration
Ergot alkaloids (sum=total alkaloids, TA) originate from the phyto-pathogenic fungus Claviceps purpurea and might exert feed intake depressing and hepatotoxic effects on animals. The aim of the study was to evaluate TA effects on performance and liver function of piglets with the [13C]methacetin breath test and two routes of tracer administration (orally, p.o.; intramuscularly, i.m.). Two ergot batches were mixed into piglet diets resulting in 21 and 17 mg TA kg-1 (Ergot-5 and -12, respectively) and compared with an ergot-free control diet. Feed intake was significantly depressed after feeding the ergot containing diets (p=<0.001). The time at maximum 13CO2 exhalation (t max) and the half-life (t 0.5) were not influenced by treatments and varied between 25 and 68 min after the p.o., and 28 and 62 min after the i.m. administration of [13C]methacetin, respectively. The cumulative 13C recovery (cPDR30) was significantly lower due to feeding the diet Ergot-5 (6.6 %) compared with the Ergot-12 (8.8 %) and the control diet (9.7 %) irrespective of the route of tracer administration (p=0.044). As a discrimination of the diet effects through both tracer administration routes is possible, the i.m. application should be preferred in piglets as this causes less stress than the oral forced administration.
Dänicke, Sven / Diers, Sonja: Effects of ergot alkaloids on liver function of piglets can be detected by the [(13)C]methacetin breath test irrespective of oral or intramuscular route of tracer administration. 2012.