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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2007

Plasma concentrations of cortisol and PGF(2 alpha) metabolite in Danish sows during mating, and intrauterine and conventional insemination

Norrby M, Madsen MT, Alexandersen CB, Kindahl H, Madej A


Background: The aims of the present work was to study whether there are any relationships between cortisol and PG-metabolite in mated sows or inseminated with the intrauterine technique and compare these to changes occurring in conventionally inseminated sow. Methods: Thirty three crossbred sows (Danish Landrace x Danish Large White) were fitted with jugular vein catheters through vena auricularis from one of the ears. The sows were randomly divided into three groups (Boar-, IUI-and Al-group) and blood samples were collected before, during and after service. In a final evaluation only 25 sows that became pregnant and farrowed piglets at full term were used. Results: Cortisol concentrations increased in all groups but Boar-group (n = 8) had a significantly higher cortisol during 10 to 20 min after service than sows in AI-group (n = 8). In mated sows cortisol concentrations peaked at 15 minutes after service. The Boar-group (n = 8) showed no ascending PG-metabolite levels during the whole experiment, while both IUI-and AI-groups (n = 9 and n = 8, respectively) had a 2.5-fold increase in PG-metabolite 15 minutes after service. Conclusion: In conclusion, mating of sows by a boar results in a greater increase of cortisol than AI and without an elevation of PG-metabolite levels, which was seen in both the inseminated groups. It was also demonstrated that IUI-group had an earlier significant increase of PG-metabolite levels than sows inseminated conventionally. Further investigation using different semen extenders or even different type of insemination catheters might be helpful in understanding the reason for an immediate increase of PG-metabolite after insemination but not after mating

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2007, Volume: 49, article number: 36