Nucleotides are the monomeric units of nucleic Acids (DNA & RNA). Young animals grow very fast: this process is based on DNA, RNA and ATP availability, whose synthesis depends on nucleotides. In challenging conditions, the own nucleotides synthesis capacity of animals is too low (Rutz et al., 2008; Sauer et al., 2011). Moreover, the most commonly used feed ingredients contain relatively low amounts of nucleotides (Sauer et al., 2011). Dietary nucleotides enhance the growth and maturation of intestinal epithelial cells as evidenced by an increased formation of mucosal protein, DNA and taller villi in the small intestine.
Dietary nucleotides enhance both humoral and cellular immunity: there is an elevated need for nucleotides during periods of immunological challenges. Dietary nucleotides boost the antioxidative status through the increase of antioxidant enzymes, including SOD, CAT, and GPx.