Journal of Reproduction and Development
Online ISSN : 1348-4400
Print ISSN : 0916-8818
ISSN-L : 0916-8818
Original Article
Reproductive Responses to Daily Injections with Porcine Somatotropin Before Mating in Gilts
Kathryn L. GATFORDChristopher G. GRUPENRoger G. CAMPBELLBrian J. LUXFORDRobert J. SMITSPhillip C. OWENSMark B. NOTTLE
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2010 Volume 56 Issue 5 Pages 540-545


Litter size and progeny birth weights are lower in gilts than in sows. Somatotropin (ST) is an important regulator of ovulation, fetal growth and survival. We therefore investigated effects of pST treatment of gilts for two to four weeks before mating on ovulation rate, behavioural estrus, fetal growth and survival, litter size and birth weights. In Experiment One, gilts were injected with 0, 30, 60 or 90 μg pST/kg/day for 14 days commencing 7 days after first estrus. Reproductive tracts were collected and corpora lutea and follicle numbers counted 5.5 days after second estrus. Ovulation rate (P=0.031) and number of medium-sized follicles (P=0.059) correlated positively with pST dose. In Experiment Two, gilts were injected with 0, 12.5, 25 or 50 μg pST/kg/day for 21 days from first estrus, and mated at second estrus. Numbers of corpora lutea, follicles and fetuses were counted at day 31 of pregnancy. Numbers of medium follicles and ovary weights were positively related to pST dose. In Experiment Three, 31 week old (1st replicate) or 27 week old (2nd replicate) gilts were injected daily with 0 or 12.5 μg pST/kg/day until mating 25.9 ± 0.6 days later, and delivered at term. Pre-mating pST increased total litter size in younger gilts in the 2nd replicate only (P<0.05). In conclusion, injecting gilts with pST before mating does not consistently alter ovulation rate, increases the number of medium follicles available for recruitment at the second mating after treatment and increases subsequent litter size in younger gilts.

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