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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Maternal Stress: Effect on the Stress Response and Immune Function of the Progeny

Authors
item Reyna, M - TAMU, KINGSVILLE, TX
item Martinez, S - TAMU, KINGSVILLE, TX
item Welsh, T - TAMU, COLLEGE STATION, TX
item CARROLL, JEFFERY
item Laurenz, J - TAMU, KINGSVILLE, TX

Submitted to: American Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 20, 2005
Publication Date: July 9, 2006
Citation: Reyna, M., Martinez, S., Welsh, Jr., T.H., Carroll, J.A., Laurenz, J.C. 2006. Maternal Stress: Effect on the stress response and immune function of the progeny [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 84:307(Suppl. 1). Abstract #W170.

Technical Abstract: This study examined the effects of maternal stress on the stress response and immune function of the pig. Pregnant sows were assigned by parity to one of two treatments and either managed per current industry standards (Control; n=4) or subjected to a daily 5 min acute restraint stress from d 85 to 110 of gestation (Stressed; n=4). Following farrowing, pigs (n=37 from Control sows; MC; and n=31 from Stressed sows; MS) were weighed and tattooed. Pigs were subsequently reweighed at weekly intervals and average daily gain (ADG) calculated. At day 21, pigs were weaned and allowed 14 days to adapt to the new environment. Pigs were subjected to an acute restraint stress (3 min) and blood samples collected. Plasma concentrations of cortisol (C), epinephrine (E), norepinephrine (NE), and dopamine (D) were determined. To assess immune function, pigs were immunized against keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) and serum samples obtained prior to immunization (d=0), and at 3, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 d post-immunization. Total immunoglobulin G (IgG) and KLH-specific IgG were determined. ADG during the pre-weaning period (d 1 to 21) was lower (p<0.05) in MS vs. MC pigs (222 + or - 8 vs. 247 + or - 7 g/d, respectively). Gender affected C, with female pigs having greater (P<0.05) C than male pigs (72 + or - 6 vs.50 + or - 4 ng/mL) during an acute restraint stress. There was a maternal treatment by gender interaction, with male MS pigs having C concentrations lower than MC males and similar (P>0.05) to female pigs. Regardless of gender, MS pigs had lower (P<0.05) levels of E, NE, and D. Immunization against KLH resulted in time-dependent increases (P<0.05) in both total and KLH-specific IgG, with peak concentrations occurring at d 21 and 28 post-immunization, respectively. Although not affecting the temporal pattern, MS pigs had reduced (P<0.05) total and KLH specific-IgG in response to immunization. These results indicate that maternal stress can dramatically impact the stress response of the progeny with an associated detrimental effect on immune function.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014
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