Endocrine relationships of Meishan and White composite females after weaning and during the luteal phase of the estrous cycle

T. Wise, J. Klindt, H. J. Howard, Alan J Conley, J. J. Ford

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16 Scopus citations


Endocrine differences between European crossbred and Chinese Meishan females have been somewhat modest. Indwelling jugular cannulas were placed in Meishan (n = 7) and White composite (n = 6) multiparous sows before weaning, and blood was sampled from 4 h before to 240 h after removal of litters. Temporal changes in FSH, triiodothyronine (T 3), and tetraiodothyronine (T 4) after weaning differed between Meishan and White composite sows. Plasma cortisol concentrations were higher in Meishan sows than in White composite sows (P < 0.01), but there were no temporal differences between breeds after weaning. Other hormones monitored (prolactin, GH, IGF-I, and inhibin) were not different between breeds. In the second experiment, Meishan gilts (n = 7) and sows (n = 7) and White composite sows (n = 9) were cannulated during the luteal phase of the estrous cycle and sampled after treatments consisting of GnRH (15 and 150 ng/kg BW), ovariectomy, estradiol cypionate challenge after ovariectomy (10 μg/kg BW), and GnRH antagonist. In response to GnRH challenge, White composite sows had elevated (P < 0.05) concentrations of gonadotropins compared with Meishan. Cortisol concentrations were elevated in Meishan as compared with White composite females (P < 0.01) but unaffected by GnRH treatment. After ovariectomy, LH concentrations increased 3 h sooner in White composite than in Meishan females. After GnRH antagonist, declines in gonadotropins were comparable in both breeds, but LH increased in Meishan females by 20 h but not until after 54 h in White composite females. White composite females demonstrated only a short decline in FSH in response to the GnRH antagonist, but Meishan females had a prolonged decline in FSH concentrations. Consistently elevated cortisol concentrations in Meishan females may positively impact ovarian function; thus, the assumption that high plasma cortisol concentration as an index of stress that impairs reproductive function should be reevaluated in swine. There were few endocrine differences that would relate to or explain increased ovulation rates found in the Meishan breed; thus, other mechanisms must exist to explain the increase in ovarian function in the Meishan breed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-187
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001


  • FSH
  • Hydrocortisone
  • LH
  • Meishan
  • Ovulation Rate
  • Pigs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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