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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Reproduction Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #322900

Research Project: IMPROVING SOW LIFETIME PRODUCTIVITY IN SWINE

Location: Reproduction Research

Title: Plasma concentrations of acyl-ghrelin are associated with average daily gain and feeding behavior in grow-finish pigs

Author
item Lents, Clay
item Brown Brandl, Tami
item Rohrer, Gary
item Oliver, William
item Freking, Bradley - Brad

Submitted to: Domestic Animal Endocrinology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/27/2015
Publication Date: 4/1/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/61818
Citation: Lents, C.A., Brown-Brandl, T.M., Rohrer, G.A., Oliver, W.T., Freking, B.A. 2016. Plasma concentrations of acyl-ghrelin are associated with average daily gain and feeding behavior in grow-finish pigs. Domestic Animal Endocrinology. 55:107-113.

Interpretive Summary: Feeding behavior is an important component of growth and feed efficiency in swine. Identifying the physiological mechanisms that regulate feeding behavior in pigs is an important area of research. ARS scientists at Clay Center, Nebraska, studied ghrelin, a hormone produced by the stomach, which is thought to stimulate hunger and feed intake. They measured two forms of the hormone; total ghrelin and acyl-ghrelin. Using computerized feeding stations that record when individual pigs eat, scientists discovered that concentrations of acyl-ghrelin were correlated with the number of meals, meal length, and average daily gain in finishing pigs. Scientists also discovered that concentrations of acyl-ghrelin differed between males and females and with breed of the sire. This is the first report that has evaluated the relationship of ghrelin with feeding behavior in grow-finish pigs under commercial conditions. Further understanding of how ghrelin contributes to variation in feeding behavior and growth will be critical to improve feed efficiency of pigs. Improving feed efficiency of pigs is necessary to maintain the competitiveness of the U.S. pork industry while minimizing the use of natural resources in swine production.

Technical Abstract: Feeding behavior is an important component of growth and feed efficiency in swine. Acyl-ghrelin is a peptide produced in the stomach that is orexigenic. The role of ghrelin in regulating feeding behavior in swine under commercial conditions is unknown. The objectives of this study were to determine the effect of sex, sire line, and litter size on concentrations of ghrelin in plasma of grow-finish pigs, and to understand the relationship of plasma concentrations of ghrelin with feeding behavior, ADG, and back fat (BF) in grow-finish swine. Yorkshire-Landrace crossbred dams were inseminated with semen from Yorkshire, Landrace, or Duroc sires. Within 24 h of birth, pigs were cross-fostered into litter sizes of normal (N; > 12 pigs/litter) or small (S;