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Influence of the inflammatory status of entire male pigs on their pubertal development and fat androstenone

  • S. P. Parois (a1), A. Faoüen (a1), N. Le Floc’h (a1) and A. Prunier (a1)

Abstract

Androstenone production increases during pubertal development and plays a major role in boar taint. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of a subclinical inflammation on the pubertal development of boars and hence on fat androstenone. Contrasted hygiene conditions were applied during rearing to increase the variability of the inflammatory status. Boars from a commercial cross line were allocated at 139±0.9 days of age (Day 0) and 81.3±5.9 kg of live weight either to Good (n=61) or Poor (n=54) hygiene conditions until slaughter at 172.9±4.8 days of age and 116.7±4.5 kg live weight. Inflammatory status, growth and pubertal development were evaluated on Day 0, Day 27 and at slaughter by analysing the blood formula, plasma inflammatory proteins; testosterone and oestradiol, salivary cortisol, rectal temperature, live weight, back fat thickness, weight of reproductive organs and clinical scores of organs (lungs, stomach, snout). Fat was collected on Day 27 by biopsy and at slaughter to measure androstenone concentration. A principal component analysis including inflammatory indicators followed by a clustering procedure was performed to identify pigs with a high (Infl+, n=50) or a low (Infl−, n=65) inflammatory status. Infl+ pigs had more granulocytes/ml, higher concentrations of haptoglobin, C-reative protein and cortisol (P<0.05), lower growth rate and higher lung pneumonia score. However, regardless of stage, the inflammatory status had no significant effect on plasma testosterone or oestradiol, fat androstenone or sexual organ development. Present data suggest that a mild inflammatory status has no influence on pubertal development or fat concentration of androstenone in boars.

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Present address: Biomin France Sarl, 22440 Ploufragan, France

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animal
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