Regulation of Muscle Growth in Early Postnatal Life in a Swine Model

Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2019 Feb 15;7:309-335. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-020518-115130. Epub 2018 Nov 2.


Skeletal muscle growth during the early postnatal period is rapid in the pig and dependent on the capacity of muscle to respond to anabolic and catabolic stimuli. Muscle mass is driven by the balance between protein synthesis and degradation. Among these processes, muscle protein synthesis in the piglet is exceptionally sensitive to the feeding-induced postprandial changes in insulin and amino acids, whereas muscle protein degradation is affected only during specific catabolic states. The developmental decline in the response of muscle to feeding is associated with changes in the signaling pathways located upstream and downstream of the mechanistic target of rapamycin protein complex. Additionally, muscle growth is supported by an accretion of nuclei derived from satellite cells. Activated satellite cells undergo proliferation, differentiation, and fusion with adjacent growing muscle fibers. Enhancing early muscle growth through modifying protein synthesis, degradation, and satellite cell activity is key to maximizing performance, productivity, and lifelong pig health.

Keywords: amino acids; insulin; mechanistic target of rapamycin; neonatal pig; satellite cell; skeletal muscle protein synthesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / growth & development
  • Models, Animal
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Muscle, Skeletal / growth & development*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Satellite Cells, Skeletal Muscle / cytology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Swine / growth & development*
  • Swine / metabolism
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism


  • Muscle Proteins
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases