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Prenatal and postnatal supplementation with β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) and alpha-ketoglutaric acid (AKG) affects the development and maturation of offspring.
Both substances have the potential to stimulate cell metabolism via different routes. However, parity affects development and may alter the effects of dietary supplementation.
This study aimed to evaluate the effect of gestational supplementation with HMB and/or AKG to primiparous and multiparous minks on the structure and maturation of the offspring’s small intestine. Primiparous and multiparous American minks (Neovison vison), of the standard dark brown type, were supplemented daily with HMB (0.02 g/kg b.w.) and/or AKG (0.4 g/kg b.w.) during gestation (n = 7 for each treatment). Supplementation stopped when the minks gave birth.
Intestine samples were collected from 8-month-old male and female offspring during autopsy and histology and histomorphometry analysis was conducted (LAEC approval no 64/2015).
Gestational supplementation had a long-term effect, improving the structure of the offspring’s intestine toward facilitating absorption and passage of intestinal contents.
AKG supplementation affected intestinal absorption (enterocytes, villi and absorptive surface), and HMB affected intestinal peristalsis and secretion (crypts and Goblet cells).
These effects were strongly dependent on parity and offspring gender.
Present findings have important nutritional implications and should be considered in feeding practices and supplementation plans in animal reproduction.