Article

Uterine crowding in the sow affects litter sex ratio, placental development and embryonic myogenin expression in early gestation.

Swine Reproduction-Development Program, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2P5, Canada.
Reproduction Fertility and Development (Impact Factor: 2.58). 01/2008; 20(4):497-504. DOI: 10.1071/RD07200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Uterine crowding in the pig results in intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), and permanently affects fetal muscle fibre development, representing production losses for the commercial pig herd. The present study sought to understand how different levels of uterine crowding in sows affects muscle fibre development in the early embryo at the time of muscle fibre differentiation and proliferation. Sows either underwent surgical, unilateral oviduct ligation (LIG; n = 10) to reduce the number of embryos in the uterus, or remained as intact, relatively-crowded controls (CTR; n = 10). Embryos and placentae were collected at Day 30 of gestation, and myogenic regulatory factor (MRF) transcript abundance was determined using real-time PCR for both myogenin (MYOG) and myoblast differentiation 1 (MYOD1). Unilateral tubal ligation resulted in lower numbers of embryos in utero, higher placental weights and a higher male : female sex ratio (P < 0.05). Relative MYOD1 expression was not different, but MYOG expression was higher (P < 0.05) in the LIG group embryos; predominantly due to effects on the male embryos. Relatively modest uterine crowding therefore affects MRF expression, even at very early stages of embryonic development, and could contribute to reported differences in fetal muscle fibre development, birthweight and thus post-natal growth performance in swine.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
64 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The perinatal mortality of cloned animals is a well-known problem. In the present retrospective study, we report on mortality of cloned transgenic or non-transgenic piglets produced as part of several investigations. Large White (LW) sows (n = 105) received hand-made cloned LW or minipig blastocysts and delivered either spontaneously or after prostaglandin induction followed by either Caesarean section or vaginal birth. The overall pregnancy rate was 62%, with 26% of pregnancies terminating before term. This resulted in 48 deliveries. The terminated pregnancies consisted of 12 abortions that occurred at 35 ± 2 days gestation and five sows that went to term without returning to heat and then by surgery showed the uterus without fetal content. The gestation length was for sows with LW piglets that delivered by Caesarean section or vaginally was 115.7 ± 0.3 and 117.6 ± 0.4 days, respectively. In sows with minipiglets, the gestation length for those delivered by Caesarean section or vaginally 114.4 ± 0.2 and 115.5 ± 0.3 days, respectively. Of the 34 sows that delivered vaginally, 28 gave birth after induction, whereas 6 farrowed spontaneously. Of the 14 sows that delivered after Caesarean section and in the five empty sows, the endometrium and placenta showed severe oedema. Piglet mortality following vaginal delivery was higher than after Caesarean section (31% v. 10%, respectively; P < 0.001). When vaginal delivery occurred spontaneously, the stillborn rate was greater than after induced delivery (56% v. 24%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Internal organ weights were recorded for seven cloned LW piglets and six normal piglets. The relative weight of the heart, liver, kidneys and small intestine was found to be reduced in the cloned piglets (P < 0.05). The present study demonstrates extensive endometrial oedema in sows pregnant with cloned and transgenic piglets, as well as in empty recipients, at term. The growth of certain organs in some of the cloned piglets was reduced and the rate of stillborn piglets was greater in cloned and transgenic piglets delivered vaginally, possibly because of oedema of the fetal-maternal interface.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 06/2011; 23(5):645-53. · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study characterised gene expression associated with embryonic muscle development and placental vascularisation during early gestation in the pig and examined effects of Progenos supplementation in early pregnancy. Tissues were collected from commercial multiparous sows (n = 48) from Days 16 to 49 of gestation. In the placenta, qPCR revealed that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA) expression did not change from Day 17 to 49 of gestation; however, KDR receptor and angiopoietin-1 and -2 expression were differentially regulated, with periods of high expression corresponding to two critical phases of angiogenesis in the pig. In the embryo, the pattern of myogenesis-related gene expression was consistent with available literature. A commercially available nutritional supplement Progenos (20 g day⁻¹ L-arginine) added to the diet of sows from either Day 15 to 29 (P15-29; n = 33), Day 30 to 44 (n = 29) or from Day 15 to 44 (n = 76) of gestation tended to increase (P = 0.058) embryonic growth rate compared with non-supplemented controls (n = 79) and angiogenin expression was higher (P = 0.028) at Day 30 of gestation in placentae from sows on the P15-29 Progenos treatment. These results are consistent with proposed beneficial effects of l-arginine on early embryonic development and placental vascularisation.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 05/2012; 24(4):550-8. · 2.58 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Expression of panels of candidate genes controlling myogenesis, angiogenesis and gender-specific imprinting of development were analysed in embryonic, placental and endometrial tissues recovered at Day 30 of gestation from a subset of primiparous sows that were either feed restricted (Restrict; n=17) or fed to appetite (Control; n=15) during the last week of the previous lactation. Embryos were also sex typed to investigate gender bias in response to treatments. Average embryonic weight was lower in the subset of Restrict compared with Control litters (1.38±0.07vs 1.59±0.08g, respectively) and the male:female sex ratio was higher (P<0.05) in embryos (litters) recovered from Restrict sows. Treatment affected (P≤0.05) the expression of embryonic and placental genes involved in insulin-like growth factor (IGF) 2 signalling, including IGF2, INSR and IGF2R. Embryonic expression of ESR1 was also affected by treatment (P<0.03) and sex×treatment interactions were observed for the expression of embryonic ESR1 (P<0.05) and placental ANGPT2 (P<0.03). At the molecular level, these results support the suggestion that changes in placental function are not the primary mechanism mediating detrimental effects of previous sow catabolism on early embryonic development in the feed-restricted lactational sow model. However, perturbations in the IGF2 system are implicated as mediators of these effects.
    Reproduction Fertility and Development 09/2011; 23(7):899-911. · 2.58 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
24 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014