Endogenous glutathione (GSH) effectively regulates redox homeostasis in the body. This study aimed to investigate the regulatory mechanism of different dietary levels of GSH supplementation on the intestinal barrier and antioxidant function in a paraquat-induced stress-weaned piglet model. Our results showed that dietary 0.06% GSH supplementation improved the growth performance of weaned piglets under normal and stressful conditions to some degree and decreased the diarrhea rate throughout. Exogenous GSH improved paraquat-induced changes in intestinal morphology, organelle, and permeability and reduced intestinal epithelial cell apoptosis. Moreover, GSH treatment alleviated intestinal oxidative stress damage by upregulating antioxidant (, , , and ) and anti-inflammatory () gene expression and downregulating inflammatory cytokines ( and ) gene expression. Furthermore, GSH significantly reduced the expression levels of , , , , , and , and increased the expression levels of and in the jejunum and ileum of paraquat-induced piglets. We conclude that exogenous GSH protects against oxidative stress damage by regulating the intestinal barrier, antioxidant capacity, and CAR signaling pathway.
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