Influence of different feed physical forms on mandibular gland in growing pigs
A study was performed on the mandibular gland obtained from growing pigs enrolled in a wide research project aiming to test the effects of different feed physical forms on animal health, production and welfare. We used 48 pigs fed for four weeks with different dietary treatments based on different grinding intensities and compactions of the same diet, namely coarsely ground meal (CM), finely ground pelleted (FP) and coarsely ground pelleted (CP) diets. Samples were analyzed by conventional histochemistry to identify the glycohistochemical profile and by immunohistochemistry to localize aquaporin 5, apelin and apelin receptor. Statistical elaborations were performed using the Stats R-package, version 3.5.3. Pig mandibular gland adenomere increased both the quantity and acidity of produced glycoconjugates from CM to FP and CP diets. This probably calls forth higher watery saliva, thus promoting a better feed softening facilitating the amalgamation of the bolus. Mandibular gland increased aquaporin 5 positivity in the CP diet, supporting the hypothesis of an augmented demand for water. Based on apelin/receptor localization, it was hypothesized that in pig mandibular gland the apelinergic system likely performs an endocrine control on the demilunes activity and a paracrine control on ducts, facilitating the production of a more fluid saliva.