Porcine Somatotropin Improves the Efficiency of Digestible Protein Use for Protein Deposition by Growing Pigs

  • Lee, K.U. (Jeil Feed Company) ;
  • Boyd, R.D. (PIC USA) ;
  • Austic, R.E. (Department of Animal Science, Cornell University) ;
  • Ross, D.A. (Department of Animal Science, Cornell University) ;
  • Beermann, D.H. (Department of Animal Science, Cornell University) ;
  • Han, In K. (Department of Animal Science and Technology, Seoul National University)
  • Received : 1998.12.28
  • Accepted : 1999.04.07
  • Published : 1999.11.01


A study was conducted to clarify the impact of recombinant porcine somatotropin (pST) on the efficiency of absorbed nitrogen use for protein deposition in growing pigs. Three levels of dietary crude protein (9.0, 11.5, 14.0% CP) were used. Each had either a sub-optimum or near optimum lysine: CP concentration (Low-lysine, 3.8 g/100 g CP and High-lysine, 5.5 g/100g CP) in order to achieve different metabolic efficiencies for nitrogen deposition (ca. 45 vs. 60%). Twelve crossbred female pigs $(59{\pm}4kg\;BW)$ were placed in metabolism cages and fitted with bladder catheters. Each pig received an excipient injection daily for the first 10-d, a pST (5 mg/d) injection for the second 10-d, and then excipient for the last 10-d. Pigs were randomly assigned to one of six dietary treatments (2 pigs/diet) and fed 4 times per d at $92g/kg\;BW^{0.75}$ $(3{\times}maintenance)$. Means for the excipient period were compared to means for the pST period. Urinary nitrogen (N) output declined in pST-treated pigs (p<0.01) irrespective of dietary protein content or lysine level. Nitrogen retention increased by an average of 11% (p<0.01) with pST treatment (726 vs. $803mg\;N/kg^{0.75}\;BW/d$). Forty-eight percent of the absorbed N was retained with Low-lysine diets, but this increased to 53% with pST injection (+11%, p<0.01). Pigs fed High-lysine diets retained 62% of absorbed N which increased to 69% with pST (+11% p<0.01). the addition of lysine improved N use by 27% (High vs. Low, p<0.01), but the effect of lysine and pST was additive (+40%). Therefore, pST improves N retention and the efficiency of apparently absorbed N use in growing pigs (>60kg). It does so with diets having the potential for either low or high efficiencies of N use (48% and 62%). More work is needed to determine if the partial efficiency of N use improves in direct proportion to pST dose since the improvement in protein deposition is a function of pST dose.