Doxorubicin-Induced Gut Toxicity in Piglets fed Bovine Milk and Colostrum

René Liang Shen, Mathias Rathe, Pingping Jiang, Peter Erik Lotko Pontoppidan, Peter M. H. Heegaard, Klaus Müller, Per Torp Sangild

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    OBJECTIVE: Chemotherapy-induced intestinal toxicity is a common adverse effect of cancer treatment. We hypothesized that a milk diet containing bovine colostrum (BC) would reduce intestinal toxicity in doxorubicin-treated piglets. METHODS: Study 1 investigated intestinal parameters nine days after a single dose of doxorubicin (1 × 75 mg/m) in piglets fed bovine milk enriched with whey protein (BM). In Study 2, responses to doxorubicin treatment were investigated in piglets receiving either seven BC feedings per day (Only-BC, n = 13), four BC feedings (High-BC, n = 13), two BC feedings (Low-BC, n = 14) or no BC (only BM, n = 13). RESULTS: Doxorubicin treatment induced clinical signs of intestinal toxicity with diarrhea and weight loss, relative to controls (P < 0.05). White blood cells, hexose absorptive function, plasma citrulline, weights of intestine, colon, and spleen were reduced, while gut permeability and plasma C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were increased (all P < 0.05). Limited or no effects were observed for digestive enzymes, pro-inflammatory cytokines or tight-junction proteins in the intestine. Increasing BC supplementation to doxorubicin-treated piglets (Study 2) had no consistent effects on plasma CRP and citrulline levels, intestinal morphology, digestive enzymes, permeability, or proinflammatory cytokines. However, Only-BC pigs had lower diarrhea severity towards the end of the experiment (P < 0.05 versus BM) and across the BC groups, intestinal toxicity was reduced (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Doxorubicin-treated piglets are relevant for studying chemotherapy-induced gut toxicity. Colostrum supplementation had limited effects on doxorubicin-induced toxicity in milk-fed piglets suggesting that colostrum and a bovine milk diet enriched with whey protein provided similar chemotherapy protection of the developing intestine.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)698-707
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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