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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Impact of exogenous ACTH during pro-oestrus on endocrine profile and oestrous cycle characteristics in sows

Einarsson, S.; Ljung, A.; Brandt, Y.; Hager, M.; Madej, A.


Sows housed in freely moving groups have elevated cortisol levels until the rank order is established, which takes place within approximately 48 h. The aim of this investigation was to study the effect of repeated administration of synthetic adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; Synacthen Depot (R)), during the follicular phase (pro-oestrus) on oestrus, ovulation and endocrine parameters. Four multiparous sows were used. Follicular growth and ovulation were recorded by ultrasonography. The first oestrous cycle after weaning was used as control cycle. Onset of oestrus in the sow occurs 3-4 days after the time when plasma progesterone reaches a concentration of 8 nmol/l. The progesterone profile in the control cycle of the individual sow was used for estimation when the ACTH injections should start. In the third pro-oestrus ACTH (2.5 mu g/kg) was given via an indwelling catheter every 2 h for 48 h. The sows were euthanased 4-6 days after onset of the third oestrus and the ovaries were examined. Cortisol levels were elevated during the treatment period (p < 0.05). The second cycle, in which the sows were injected with ACTH, was prolonged with 2.5 days compared with the control cycle (p < 0.05). The oestradiol pattern during oestrus was similar in the control and the treatment cycle in ovulating sows. Three sows had ovulated (fresh corpora lutea), but the ovaries contained additionally one or several luteinized follicles/cysts. In conclusion, ACTH administration during pro-oestrus caused a prolongation of the oestrous cycle and a disturbed follicular development

Published in

Reproduction in Domestic Animals
2007, Volume: 42, number: 1, pages: 100-104

      SLU Authors

        • Madej, Andrzej

          • Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

        UKÄ Subject classification

        Animal and Dairy Science
        Veterinary Science

        Publication identifier


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