Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Influences of Somatotropin on Biomechanical Properties of Porcine Skin

Authors
item CAPERNA, THOMAS
item Vossoughi, Jafar - DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA UNIV

Submitted to: Endocrinology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 13, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Administration of porcine somatotropin (pST) is associated with altered nutrient partitioning such that protein deposition is enhanced at the expense of energetic efficiency. We have previously demonstrated that collagen deposition, the most abundant protein in the body is enhanced in the skin but not in the carcass. Since the biomechanical properties of tissues are associated with collagen, this study focused on the alteration of mechanical properties of skin associated with pST treatment. Sixteen pigs were utilized between 30 and 64 kilograms live weight. Eight pigs received daily injections of pST and eight pigs were administered buffer. Pigs were individually housed and fed a ration of a corn/soybean meal/skim milk-based diet such that average feed intake was identical for both groups of pigs. Treatment with pST resulted in a 29% and 18% increase in the thickness of skin in the shoulder and rump region, respectively. In contrast, of pST was associated with 31% and 25% decrease in tensile strength in shoulder and rump, respectively. Shrinkage of skin associated with excision from the body was reduced by pST treatment in the shoulder region. In the rump region, the skin expanded upon removal and pST was associated with an increase in the overall expansion of the skin tissue. These data indicate that the alterations in protein metabolism and particularly in collagen metabolism, associated with pST treatment, have marked effects on the biomechanical properties of skin.

Technical Abstract: The domestic pig was used as a model to investigate the influence of pituitary somatotropin (growth hormone) on tensile strength and deformation of skin. Sixteen pigs were utilized in a growth trial between 30 and 64 kilograms live weight. Eight pigs received daily injections of porcine pituitary somatotropin (pST, 100 ug/kg) and an equal number of pigs were administered buffer. Pigs were individually housed and fed a ration of corn/soybean meal/skim milk based diet equivalent to 85% of ad libitum intake such that average feed intake was identical for both groups of pigs. Treatment with pST resulted in a 29% and 18% increase in the thickness of skin in the shoulder and rump region, respectively. In contrast, administration of pST was associated with 31% and 25% decrease in tensile strength in shoulder and rump regions, respectively. Shrinkage of skin associated with excision from the body was reduced by pST treatment in the shoulder region. In the rump region, the skin expanded upon removal and pST was associated with an increase in the overall expansion of the skin tissue. These data indicate that the alterations in protein metabolism and particularly in collagen metabolism, associated with somatotropin treatment, have marked effects on the biomechanical properties of skin.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page