Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #193091


item Burdick, Nicole
item Welsh, Tom
item Carroll, Jeffery - Jeff Carroll
item Laurenz, Jamie

Submitted to: American Society of Animal Science Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/21/2006
Publication Date: 7/9/2006
Citation: Burdick, N., Welsh, T., Carroll, J.A., Laurenz, J. 2006. Maternal stress modulates the acute stress response and immune function of the pig [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 84:307(Suppl. 1). Abstract #W19.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This study examined the effects of maternal stress on the response of the pig to acute restraint stress and in vitro measures of immune function. Pregnant sows were assigned by parity to one of two treatments and managed per current industry standards (Control; n=2) or subjected to a daily 5 min acute restraint stress from d 85 to 110 of gestation (Stressed; n=2). After farrowing, pigs (n= 12 from control sows; MC; and n=15 from stressed sows; MS) were weighed and tattooed for permanent identification and managed similarly throughout the remainder of the study. At 35 d of age, pigs were restrained and blood collected initially (t = 1.5 + or - 0.1 min), and at 3 and 6 min. Plasma was collected and analyzed for cortisol (C), epinephrine (E), norepinephrine (NE) and dopamine (D). To assess immune function, lymphocytes were isolated using density gradient centrifugation. Cells were plated in DME/F12 media containing Concanavalin A (ConA; 0 to 10 µg/mL) and cultures incubated for 96 hours (37°C and 5% CO2). Following incubation, IgM production and the extent of proliferation were determined. Plasma C did not differ (P>0.05) between MS and MC pigs, and increased (P<0.01) with duration of restraint (40 + or - 5 vs. 75 + or - 5 ng/mL for 1.5 vs. 6 min). Plasma E and NE increased with duration of restraint, (P<0.05) and MS pigs had lower (P<0.05) E and NE than MC pigs. In MC pigs, D increased (P<0.05) with duration of restraint. In contrast, in MS pigs D was not affected (P>0.05) by restraint, and D was lower in MS relative to MC (1.6 + or - 0.2 vs. 2.9 + or - 0.3, respectively). ConA induced dose-dependent increases (P<0.01) in lymphocyte proliferation and IgM production. The extent of proliferation was not affected (P>0.05) by duration of restraint. In contrast, IgM production by cultures decreased (P<0.05) with increasing time of restraint. Regardless of duration of restraint, cultures established from MS pigs had a reduced (P<0.05) proliferative and IgM response to ConA than MC pigs. These results indicate that maternal stress affects the stress response of the progeny which may have a negative impact on immune function.