Immunization against recombinant bovine inhibin α subunit causes increased ovulation rates in gilts

in Reproduction

Summary. Immunization of gilts in a commercial piggery against a fusion protein of the α subunit of bovine inhibin, produced by recombinant DNA methods, resulted in mean ovulation rate increases of 35% at the oestrus at which, under the piggery's management practices, they would have been mated. Sera from two immunized groups showed mean binding of 6·6% and 4·9% when assayed, at 1:800 final dilution, against iodinated bovine inhibin (Mr 31 000). Ovulation rates of immunized gilts were highly correlated with the ability of serum to bind iodinated native inhibin (r = 0·62; P < 0·001), particularly when weight and age were included in the correlation (r = 0·72; P = 0·001), and inhibin binding accounted for 38% of the total variation in ovulation rate. Immunization caused no deleterious effects on growth rate or onset of oestrus. These results demonstrate the potential for use of such immunization to increase prolificacy in gilts and young sows.

Keywords: inhibin; fusion protein; immunization; ovulation rate; gilts

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