The effect of repeated boar exposure on cortisol secretion and reproduction in gilts

Turner, A.I., Hemsworth, P.H., Hughes, P.E., Canny, B.J. and Tilbrook, A.J. 1998, The effect of repeated boar exposure on cortisol secretion and reproduction in gilts, Animal reproduction science, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 143-154, doi: 10.1016/S0378-4320(98)00057-8.

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Title The effect of repeated boar exposure on cortisol secretion and reproduction in gilts
Author(s) Turner, A.I.ORCID iD for Turner, A.I.
Hemsworth, P.H.
Hughes, P.E.
Canny, B.J.
Tilbrook, A.J.
Journal name Animal reproduction science
Volume number 51
Issue number 2
Start page 143
End page 154
Total pages 12
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 1998-04-30
ISSN 0378-4320
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Agriculture, Dairy & Animal Science
Reproductive Biology
pig : endocrinology
oestrous detection
Summary It has been proposed that short-term activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis, with a consequent increase in the secretion of cortisol, amy disrupt the endocrine events prior to ovulation and thereby impair reproduction in females. We investigated this concept in gilts in which oestrus was detected by introduction to boars, where intense physical contact is possible, or by applying pressure to the back of gilts (back-pressure test) during fence-line exposure to boars, where intense physical contact is prohibited. We expected that there would be a greater release of cortisol and that reproduction would be inhibited in gilts introduced to boars compared to gilts in which the back-pressure test was used. As expected, introduction of gilts to boars resulted in a significant transient increase in plasma concentrations of cortisol while there was no significant effect of using the back-pressure test on plasma cortisol. Nevertheless, introduction of gilts to boars did not impair reproduction and there was no effect of method of detecting oestrus on duration of oestrus, sexual receptivity, fertility or fecundity. The length of the oestrous cycle was decreased and ovulation rate increased in gilts that were introduced to boars compared to gilts that underwent the back-pressure test, indicating that introduction of gilts to boars may have stimulated these aspects of reproduction. These stimulatory effects may have been due to an increased exposure of gilts to sexual behaviour and stimuli from boars when introduced to boars and/or to stimulatory effects of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis on some aspects of reproduction.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/S0378-4320(98)00057-8
Field of Research 070206 Animal Reproduction
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 830308 Pigs
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©1998, Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition
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