Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2003
Publication Date: 1/1/2003
Citation: TOSCANO, M.J., SCOTT, K.A., SMITH, H.K., CUNNICK, J.E., DANIELS, M.J., LAY JR, D.C. EFFECTS OF PRE-NATAL STRESS ON IMMUNOLOGICAL RESPONSE AND WEIGHT GAIN DURING THE GROWER FINISHER PERIOD. JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE. V. 81(622). P. 157.
Technical Abstract: Pre-natal stress, stress applied to the pregnant dam which affects development of subsequent young, works through unclear mechanisms. In the current study, sows received one of two treatments once a week during d 42 to d 77 of gestation: injections of ACTH (i.v., 1 IU/kg BW) (ACTH, n=19), or forcefully moved up and down an alley and received 3 shocks from a standard electric prod over a 10-min-period (ROU, n=15). A third group served as a control and received no treatment (CONT, n=18). Subsequent progeny were separated into groups of 6 (2 pigs/trt/grp) upon weaning. To assess the affect of the treatments on immunological function, at 106 ± 0.51 d of age, a single pig from each litter received a 6-mm punch biopsy to assess healing and then regrouped with other test pigs maintaining groups of six. A base blood sample was taken before the procedure (d 0) and then d 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42. To provide a record of punch biopsy healing, digital pictures were taken of the wound at each sampling time until d 21. Collected blood provided an immunological cell profile and each wound picture was scored for severity by 3 observers blind to treatments. Average daily gain from farrowing to d 146 ± 1.0 of age was calculated. Granulocytes as a percentage of white blood cells was least (p>.05) in the ACTH group followed by CONT and ROU, respectively (51.5 ± .82 vs. 53.4 ± .94 vs. 56.08 ± .84 %). Eosinophils tended to be least (p>.08) in the CONT, followed by ROU and ACTH, respectively (1.9 ± .13 vs. 2.01 ± .14 vs. 2.14 ± .34 510 cells/L). A score given to biopsy healing progress was most improved in ROU (score 1 = healed, 4 = not healed), followed by CONT and ACTH, respectively (2.12 ± .06, 2.26 ± .06 , 2.34 ± .06; p> .04). Average daily gain was not affected by treatment (.65 ± .01 kg/d, p>.45). Our results suggest pre-natal stress is a factor in granulocyte production and the body's ability to heal a small biopsy. Continued research is needed to develop a complete understanding of pre-natal stress's effects.