Susceptibility of reproduction in female pigs to impairment by stress and the role of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis

Turner, A.I., Hemsworth, P.H. and Tilbrook, A.J. 2002, Susceptibility of reproduction in female pigs to impairment by stress and the role of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis, Reproduction, fertility and development, vol. 14, no. 6, pp. 377-391, doi: 10.1071/RD02012.

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Title Susceptibility of reproduction in female pigs to impairment by stress and the role of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis
Author(s) Turner, A.I.ORCID iD for Turner, A.I.
Hemsworth, P.H.
Tilbrook, A.J.
Journal name Reproduction, fertility and development
Volume number 14
Issue number 6
Start page 377
End page 391
Total pages 15
Publisher CSIRO
Place of publication Melbourne, Vic.
Publication date 2002
ISSN 1031-3613
Keyword(s) Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Developmental Biology
Reproductive Biology
Summary Although it is generally considered that stress can impair reproduction, we suggest that the impact of acute or repeated acute stress or acute or repeated acute elevations of cortisol are of little consequence in female pigs, even if these occur during the series of endocrine events that induce oestrus and ovulation. It is important to understand the impact of acute stress on reproduction because, in the intensive production of livestock, animals are often subjected to short-term challenges. There seems little doubt that reproduction in a proportion of female pigs is susceptible to impairment by severe and prolonged stress or the sustained elevation of cortisol but only when this continues for a substantial period. In female pigs, where reproduction is susceptible to impairment by severe prolonged stress, it is possible that the mediators of this suppression are cortisol, corticotrophin-releasing factor and vasopressin but, in pigs, there is evidence to suggest that adrenocorticotrophic hormone is not involved. Other substances secreted during stress may be involved but these are not considered in this review. It is possible that the mediators of stress act at any level of the hypothalamo-pituitary-ovarian axis. Although a variety of experimental manipulations have provided potential mediators and mechanisms for the stress-induced suppression of reproduction, these experimental manipulations rarely represented physiological circumstances so it is not clear if such mechanisms would be important in a physiological context. The precise mediators and mechanisms by which hormones released during stress may inhibit reproductive processes during severe prolonged stress are yet to be determined.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/RD02012
Field of Research 110306 Endocrinology
111404 Reproduction
11 Medical And Health Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
07 Agricultural And Veterinary Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 920106 Endocrine Organs and Diseases (excl. Diabetes)
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2002, CSIRO
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition
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