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Research article2006Peer reviewed

Effect of hCG administration on the relationship between testicular steroids and indolic compounds in fat and plasma in entire male pigs

Chen G, Zamaratskaia G, Madej A, Lundstrom K


Our objective was to evaluate pigs injected with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) as a potential model to study the effect of high testicular steroid levels on the variation in indolic compounds. Pre-selection of the sires based on their plasma skatole levels was used, to evaluate whether the response to hCG would be affected. Out of 34 entire male pigs, 17 pigs were injected with hCG and the remaining pigs were injected with sterile saline four days prior to slaughter. HCG injection increased the levels of testicular steroids (androstenone, testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate, oestrone sulphate and oestrone; p < 0.001), and indole levels in plasma and fat (p < 0.05). Skatole levels in fat increased slightly but not significantly (p = 0.107), whereas skatole levels in plasma were not affected. The correlation coefficients between androstenone and skatole levels in fat were 0.54 in the hCG-injected group and non-significant in the control group. Skatole levels in fat were not correlated with testicular steroids in either hCG-injected pigs or controls. Skatole and indole levels in fat were positively correlated in both groups. We concluded that hCG-injected pigs might be useful for studying factors responsible for the role of testicular steroids in the occurrence of high indole levels. Pre-selection of sires based on plasma skatole levels affected both the levels of indolic compounds and testicular steroids, especially in fat, which might have suppressed the response to hCG. Whether hCG affects skatole or not is therefore not fully elucidated. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Published in

Meat Science
2006, Volume: 72, number: 2, pages: 339-347