Effect of different nutritional regimens before ovulation on plasma concentrations of metabolic and reproductive hormones and oocyte maturation in gilts

in Reproduction
Authors:
EM Ferguson
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CJ Ashworth
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SA Edwards
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N Hawkins
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N Hepburn
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MG Hunter
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This study examined the effect of feeding either a maintenance (1.35 kg day(-1)) or high (3.5 kg day(-1)) plane of nutrition for 19 days after oestrus on oocyte maturity and both reproductive and metabolic hormone concentrations in gilts. Blood samples were collected each day from oestrus until slaughter on day 19 and during two pulse bleeds (15 min samples for 8 h) conducted on day 12 and day 18. After slaughter, oocytes were recovered from the presumed ovulatory population of follicles, matured in vitro for 46+/-2 h with 10% of their own follicular fluid, and then fixed and stained to determine the stage of nuclear maturation of the oocyte. Gilts fed the high diet had a higher proportion of oocytes that reached metaphase II than gilts fed the maintenance diet (88.3+/-2.71% versus 68.2+/-6.48%; P=0.013). Circulating concentrations of insulin-like growth hormone I (IGF-I) and the number of LH pulses were lower (P<0.05) in gilts fed the maintenance diet compared with gilts fed the high diet on day 12 and day 18. Mean oestradiol and progesterone concentrations were higher (P<0.05) for gilts fed the maintenance diet compared with gilts fed the high diet. Leptin concentrations were also higher on day 19 in gilts fed the high diet (2.16+/-0.26 ng ml(-1) (n=9) versus 3.20+/-0.32 (n=11), P=0.025). The results of this study indicate that improved oocyte quality (increased proportion of oocytes that reached metaphase II) is associated with a number of changes in reproductive and metabolic hormones. Further studies are required to indicate which hormonal mechanism may, in turn, lead to increased embryo survival and eventual litter size.

 

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