The study objective was to determine the direct effects of rapid cooling after acute hyperthermia on intestinal morphology and inflammatory response in pigs. In four repetitions, male pigs (N = 36; 88.7 ± 1.6 kg) were exposed to thermoneutrality (TN; n = 3/rep; 19.5 ± 0.1°C) for 6 h or heat stress (HS; 36.4 ± 0.1°C) for 3 h, followed by a 3-h recovery period of rapid cooling (HSRC; n = 3/rep; rapid TN exposure and ice water dousing for 1.5 h) or gradual cooling (HSGC; n = 3/rep; gradual decrease from HS to TN). Rectal (TR) and gastrointestinal tract (TGI) temperatures were obtained every 15 min for 6 h. In repetitions 1 and 2, blood was collected at 60 and 180 min during HS and 30 and 60 min during recovery, and then pigs were euthanized at 180 min of recovery and duodenum, ileum, and colon tissue were collected to evaluate intestinal morphology. HS increased (P < 0.01) maximum TR (40.7°C) and TGI (41.5°C) compared with TN treatment (38.9 and 39.3°C, respectively). Recovery reduced TR (P < 0.01; 0.4°C) in HSRC vs. HSGC pigs, but TGI was similar (40.7°C). HSRC reduced (P < 0.01) villus height-to-crypt depth ratio in the duodenum (34%) and ileum (46%) vs. HSGC pigs. Serum LPS concentration was greater in HSRC pigs (P = 0.04; 68.5% and 52.4%, respectively) compared with TN and HSGC pigs, and TNF-α concentration tended to be greater (P = 0.06; 41.2%) compared with HSGC pigs during recovery. In summary, rapid cooling reduced TR but had no effect on TGI, and this may be linked to increased intestinal damage and a systemic inflammatory response.
- intestinal morphology