Reproduction, Fertility and Development Reproduction, Fertility and Development Society
Vertebrate reproductive science and technology
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Temporary undernutrition during early gestation, corpora lutea morphometrics, ovarian progesterone secretion and embryo survival in gilts

P. Langendijk A C D , E. G. Bouwman A , T. Y. Chen A , R. E. Koopmanschap B and N. M. Soede B
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A South Australian Research and Development Institute, Roseworthy Campus, Roseworthy, SA 5371, Australia.

B Adaptation Physiology Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 338, 6700 AH, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

C Present address: Trouw Nutrition Research and Development, Veerstraat 38, 5831 JN, Boxmeer, The Netherlands.

D Corresponding author. Email: pieter.langendijk@trouwnutrition.com

Reproduction, Fertility and Development 29(7) 1349-1355 https://doi.org/10.1071/RD15520
Submitted: 9 December 2015  Accepted: 1 May 2016   Published: 26 May 2016

Abstract

The present study reports effects of severe undernutrition on luteal function and pregnancy in pigs. Gilts were inseminated and either fasted on Day 10 and 11 after conception (n = 11) or fully fed throughout (n = 10). Fasting did not affect LH or progesterone pulsatile secretion pattern on Day 11 in samples taken from blood vessels draining an ovary. Ultrasonographic measurements of the size of the corpora lutea did not show any effect of fasting either. However, fasted gilts had 10 to 30 % lower systemic progesterone from Day 12 through Day 15 after conception (P < 0.05). All gilts farrowed, but fasted gilts had fewer born piglets than fully fed gilts (8.8 ± 0.8 vs 10.9 ± 0.5 respectively; P < 0.05). In conclusion, fasting during embryo elongation can compromise embryonic survival by affecting ovarian function in the days after fasting, without having an immediate effect on LH secretion and progesterone output by the ovaries.

Additional keywords: fasting, LH, pigs, pregnancy.


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