Stress, cortisol and reproduction in female pigs

Turner, A. I. and Tilbrook, A. J. 2006, Stress, cortisol and reproduction in female pigs, in Control of pig reproduction VII : proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Pig Reproduction, Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, England, pp. 191-203.


Title Stress, cortisol and reproduction in female pigs
Author(s) Turner, A. I.
Tilbrook, A. J.
Conference name International Conference on Pig Reproduction (7th : 2005 : Kerkrade, Netherlands)
Conference location Kerkrade, Netherlands
Conference dates June 2005
Title of proceedings Control of pig reproduction VII : proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Pig Reproduction
Editor(s) Ashworth, C. J.
Kraeling, R. R.
Publication date 2006
Conference series International Conference on Pig Reproduction
Start page 191
End page 203
Total pages 13
Publisher Nottingham University Press
Place of publication Nottingham, England
Summary Two key hypotheses emerge in the literature regarding the impact of stress on reproduction in females of any species. First, prolonged stress impairs reproduction in females. Secondly, acute stress impairs reproduction, if it occurs at a critical time during the precisely timed series of endocrine events that induce oestrus and ovulation. We reviewed studies conducted in female pigs to find support or opposition for these hypotheses in female pigs. We also considered the role of cortisol. We found confirmation that prolonged stress or the prolonged elevation of cortisol can impair reproductive processes in female pigs, but also found that there appear to be some female pigs in which reproduction is resistant to such treatments. Reproduction in female pigs appears to be resistant to acute or repeated acute stress or elevation of cortisol, even if these occur during the series of precisely timed endocrine events that induce oestrus and ovulation. Thus, we propose modified versions of the above hypotheses that are specific to female pigs. Furthermore, while cortisol may mediate the effects of prolonged stress on reproduction in female pigs, there is evidence that, in female pigs, ACTH may require the presence of the adrenal glands to impair reproduction rather than having direct effects.
ISBN 190476133X
9781904761334
Language eng
Field of Research 110306 Endocrinology
Socio Economic Objective 970107 Expanding Knowledge in the Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences
HERDC Research category E1.1 Full written paper - refereed
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30018607

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