Background: Deoxynivalenol contamination is increasing worldwide, presenting great challenges to food
security and causing great economic losses in the livestock industry.
Objective: This study was conducted to determine the protective effect of baicalin zinc as a dietary supplement on
pigs fed with a deoxynivalenol contaminated diet.
Methods: A total of 40 weaned pigs (21 d of age; 6.13 ± 0.42 kg average BW) were randomly assigned (10
pigs/group) to 4 dietary treatments: basal diet (Con group), basal diet + 4 mg/kg DON (DON group), basal diet +
5 g/kg BZN (BZN group), and basal diet + 5 g/kg BZN + 4 mg/kg DON (DBZN group) for a 14-d period. Seven
randomly-selected pigs from each treatment were killed for blood and tissue sampling.
Results: The results showed that piglets challenged with DON exhibited significantly reduced levels of ADG, ADFI,
and F/G (p < 0.05). BZN supplemented diets significantly suppressed the protein expression of p-Nrf2, p-NF-kB, and
HO-1 in the jejunum of DON challenged piglets (p < 0.05). In liver, DON markedly increased the mRNA expression
of P70S6K and HSP70 in piglets fed the basal diet, but significantly reduced that of HO-1, NQO-1, NF-kB,
AMPKα2 and HSP70 in piglets fed the BZN supplemented diet (p < 0.05). Dietary supplementation with BZN
markedly increased the T-AOC level of serum in weaned piglets (p < 0.05). In jejunum, dietary supplementation with
BZN activated the mRNA expression of ZIP4 in piglets (p < 0.05), BZN supplementation significantly suppressed
the activity of sucrose and increased the protein concentration in chyme (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: BZN can play a protective role by reducing oxidative stress and enhancing nutrient absorption in pigs
fed DON-contaminated diets.