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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Hormonal and metabolic indicators before and after farrowing in sows affected with postpartum dysgalactia syndrome

Kaiser, Marianne; Jacobsen, Stine; Andersen, Pia Haubro; Baekbo, Poul; Ceron, Jose Joaquin; Dahl, Jan; Escribano, Damian; Theil, Peter Kappel; Jacobson, Magdalena


BackgroundPostpartum dysgalactia syndrome (PDS) in sows is difficult to diagnose and the pathogenesis is obscure. Hormonal changes related to the disease are often difficult to distinguish from those found in the normal transition period from gestation to lactation. The study aimed to investigate metabolic and hormonal changes related to PDS with the goal of identifying potential biomarkers in sows suffering from PDS (PDS+). Selected biomarkers were examined by comparing 38 PDS+ sows with 38 PDS negative (PDS-) sows. The sows were sampled every 24h from 60h ante partum (a.p.) to 36h post partum (p.p.).ResultsCompared to the baseline (60 to 36h a.p.), cortisol in serum and saliva and fasting blood glucose concentrations increased in PDS+ as well as PDS- sows. C-peptide decreased relative to the baseline in PDS+ sows, and prolactin and 8-epi prostaglandin F2 alpha (8-epi-PGF2) decreased in PDS- sows. Concentrations of cortisol in serum and saliva, salivary chromogranin A (CgA), fasting blood glucose, C-peptide, and 8-epi-PGF2 differed significantly between PDS+ and PDS- sows, with levels of cortisol in serum and saliva, salivary CgA, and 8-epi-PGF2 in serum being different in the two groups already before parturition. Concentrations of salivary CgA were significantly lower in PDS- sows than in PDS+ sows during the entire study period.ConclusionsThe results suggest that salivary CgA, cortisol and serum 8-epi-PGF2 may potentially serve as early diagnostic indicators for PDS. The consistently higher salivary CgA concentration in PDS+ sows compared to PDS- sows may indicate that homeostatic disturbances are present between 36 to 60 h before parturitionin sows developing PDS. The higher serum and saliva cortisol concentration in PDS+ sows compared to PDS- sows could reflect an early sign of inflammation or stress. The significantly lower C-peptide in PDS+ sows compared to PDS- sows may reflect a lower food intake. Our results contribute to the understanding of the pathogenesis of PDS, and the homeostatic disturbances detected before parturition warrants further investigation. The diagnostic potential of the markers identified in this study should be investigated further in a larger population of sows.


PPDS; Chromogranin A; Prostaglandin F2; Glucose metabolism; Cortisol

Published in

BMC Veterinary Research
2018, Volume: 14, article number: 334
Publisher: BMC