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Transmission of Zearalenone, Deoxynivalenol, and Their Derivatives from Sows to Piglets During Lactation

Sows were fed naturally contaminated diets containing: (i) 100 ppb zearalenone (ZEN) one week before farrowing and during the lactation period (at 26 days), (ii) 100 ppb ZEN one week before farrowing and 300 ppb ZEN during the lactation period, or (iii) 300 ppb ZEN one week before farrowing and during the lactation period. All diets contained 250 ppb deoxynivalenol (DON). The highest levels of ZEN, α-ZEL, or β-ZEL were observed in the serum of sows fed 300 ppb ZEN before farrowing and during lactation. However, only α-ZEL was significantly increased in the colostrum and milk of these sows. Sows fed the 300 ppb ZEN during the complete trial presented a significant decrease in backfat thickness before farrowing. This effect was accompanied by a decrease in serum leptin levels. These sows also presented a decrease in estradiol levels and this effect was observed in their piglets exposed during lactation, which presented increased glucagon-like peptide 1, but no changes in serum levels of ZEN, α-ZEL, or β-ZEL. Although all sows were fed the same levels of DON, the serum levels of DON and de-epoxy-DON were increased only in the serum of piglets from the sows fed a diet with the highest ZEN levels during the whole experimental period. Moreover, these piglets presented gut inflammation, as indicated by significantly increased calprotectin levels in their serum.


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