Background: As colic and intestinal disorders are a major concern in horses, the aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of dietary supplementation of butyrate, known to have a diverse array of beneficial effects on intestinal health. The effect of micro-encapsulated sodium butyrate supplementation on gut histology and immunohistochemistry parameters was studied in 14 healthy warmblood horses destined for slaughter in two separate periods. Horses were fed a low fiber - high starch diet, designed to induce subsequent starch overflow in the large intestine, aiming to create a mild challenge for large intestinal health. Treatment included supplementation with either micro-encapsulated sodium butyrate (Excential Butycoat®, Orffa, Werkendam, the Netherlands) or placebo (containing only coating material). The horses were fed for 20 consecutive days at a dosage of 0.4 g/kg BW (body weight). At day 21, the horses were slaughtered and intestinal samples were collected for determination of gut pH, villus length, crypt depth and area % of CD3+ and CD20+ cells. Results: Horses on the butyrate supplemented diet had significantly reduced crypt depths in the right dorsal colon compared to placebo-fed horses (P < 0.001). However, a treatment x period interaction (P = 0.002) was discovered regarding this parameter, which could not be explained by the authors. Further investigation into the number of KI67+ cells in the RDC crypts did not reveal any significant differences between treatments (P = 0.650), indicating that the reduction in crypt depth in butyrate-fed horses could not be explained by a significant difference in cellular proliferation. Intestinal pH, villus length and expression of intestinal CD3+ and CD20+ cells were not significantly affected by treatment at any intestinal level. Conclusions: Our data indicate that supplementation of micro-encapsulated sodium butyrate to the equine diet did not influence gut histology (with the exception of a decrease found in the crypts of the RDC) or immunohistochemistry parameters in healthy horses. Further research is warranted to investigate the impact of butyrate supplementation in horses with intestinal disease.
|Tijdschrift||BMC Veterinary Research|
|Status||Gepubliceerd - 2020|