Sangild, Per Torp8; Thymann, Thomas8; Schmidt, Mette9; Stoll, Barbara6; Burrin, Douglas G6; Buddington, R K7
1 Clinical and Experimental Nutrition, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet2 Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, Faculty of Science, Københavns Universitet3 Section for Veterinary Reproduction and Obstetrics, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet4 Comparative Paediatrics and Nutrition, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet5 Veterinary Reproduction & Obstetrics, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet6 Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas7 Department of Health and Sport Science, University of Memphis, Tennessee8 Comparative Paediatrics and Nutrition, Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Københavns Universitet9 Veterinary Reproduction & Obstetrics, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, Københavns Universitet
The preterm pig as a model in pediatric gastroenterology
At birth, the newborn mammal undergoes a transition from a sterile uterine environment with a constant nutrient supply, to a microbe rich environment with intermittent oral intake of complex milk nutrients via the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). These functional challenges partly explain the relatively high morbidity and mortality of neonates. Preterm birth interrupts prenatal organ maturation, including that of the GIT, and increases disease risk. Exemplary is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) which is associated closely with GIT immaturity, enteral feeding and bacterial colonization. Infants with NEC may require resection of the necrotic parts of the intestine, leading to short bowel syndrome (SBS), characterised by reduced digestive capacity, fluid loss, and dependency on parenteral nutrition. This review presents the preterm pig as a translational model in pediatric gastroenterology that has provided new insights into important pediatric diseases such as NEC and SBS. We describe protocols for delivery, care, and handling of preterm pigs, and show how the immature GIT responds to delivery method and different nutritional and therapeutic interventions. The preterm pig may also provide a sensitive model for postnatal adaptation of weak term piglets showing high mortality. Attributes of the preterm pig model include close similarities with preterm infants in body size, organ development, and many clinical features, thereby providing a translational advantage relative to rodent models of GIT immaturity. On the other hand, the need for a sow surgical facility, a piglet intensive care unit, and clinically trained personnel may limit widespread use of preterm pigs. Studies on organ adaptation in preterm pigs help to identify the physiological basis of neonatal survival for hypersensitive newborns and aid in defining the optimal diet and rearing conditions during the critical neonatal period.
Journal review article
Journal of Animal Science, 2013, Vol 91, Issue 10, p. 4713-4729