Effect of orally administered epidermal growth factor on the jejunal mucosa of weaned pigs

Am J Vet Res. 1990 Mar;51(3):471-4.


The effect of ingested epidermal growth factor (EGF) on the small intestinal mucosa of conventionally weaned pigs was determined. At 21 days of age, 39 pigs were randomly distributed into suckling and weaned treatment groups that were administered 124 micrograms of EGF, 372 micrograms of EGF, or the dosing compound daily. Fecal water content was determined daily. On postweaning days 0, 3, 6, and 9, representative pigs from each group were euthanatized, and jejunal mucosa samples were collected for determination of villus-to-crypt ratio, total protein content, disaccharidase activities, and microbiological populations. At postweaning day 3, the 372-micrograms dose of EGF significantly (P less than or equal to 0.05) increased jejunal lactase and sucrase activities in the weaned pigs. Increased lactase activity was not greater than that of the suckling pig controls, whereas sucrase activity was significantly (P less than or equal to 0.05) higher than that of the suckling pig controls. Significant changes were not observed in villus-to-crypt ratio, mucosal protein content, or disaccharidase activities on other collection days.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / administration & dosage
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / pharmacology*
  • Feces / analysis
  • Female
  • Intestinal Mucosa / drug effects*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / enzymology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Jejunum / drug effects*
  • Jejunum / enzymology
  • Jejunum / metabolism
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Sucrase / metabolism
  • Swine*
  • Weaning
  • beta-Galactosidase / metabolism


  • Epidermal Growth Factor
  • beta-Galactosidase
  • Sucrase