Immuno- and glyco-histochemistry as a tool to evaluate the oregano supplemented feed effects in pig gut
Among oregano properties, its antioxidant and antibacterial effects are particularly interesting. Oregano is also able to induce a higher glycoconjugate production in gut, creating a physical barrier against microorganisms. This study evaluated the effects of adding an aqueous extract of oregano (OAE) to the diet of two homogenous groups of pigs during the finisher phase. The diets were as follows: control commercial diet (CTR group) and CTR diet supplemented (2 g/kg) with OAE (O group). Samples of ileum and caecum from the two groups were examined by conventional histochemistry to analyze complex carbohydrates and by immunohistochemistry to detect Bcl-2 Associate X protein (BAX), an indicator of oxidative stress. Glyco-histochemistry showed significant differences between the two groups. Immunohistochemistry revealed a lower presence of BAX in O group. The OAE supplementation improved the production of glycoconjugates, able to enhance in pig the protection of intestinal mucosa by means of direct and indirect defense actions. The reduced BAX immunostaining observed in O group may be an indicator of enhanced antioxidant action promoted by oregano. The results of this study can be used in further research to identify ways to improve endogenous defence ability, with the aim of reducing antibiotic use and preventing antimicrobial resistance.
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