Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Eight full term crossbred sows were selected for a study to compare the immune function of pigs born by Cesarean section (c-section) or natural-birth (n=4 each for natural-birth and c-section). Gestation length and birth weight did not differ between natural-birth and c-section pigs. Blood and tissue samples were collected from 44 pigs at birth. Forty-five pigs were weaned at 13 d and fitted with an indwelling jugular cannula for blood sample collection at 14 d. Pigs received an i.p. injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 150 ug/kg) or saline at min 0, blood serum samples were collected at -20, -10, 0, 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 90 and 120 min, and tissue samples were collected immediately following the 120 min sample. Serum cortisol, ACTH, and prolactin were determined by RIA. Serum interferon-gamma (INF-gamma) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were determined by ELISA. Natural-birth pigs had 21% greater ADG than c-section pigs (P<0.01). Centrifuge clot:blood ratio was greater among natural-birth than c-section pigs at birth (P<0.01) but did not differ at 14 d. Basal serum ACTH and cortisol was greater in c-section than natural-birth pigs at birth (P<0.01) but was not different at 14 d. Basal serum prolactin did not differ at birth or 14 d but decreased from birth to 14 d (P<0.01). Serum ACTH, cortisol, prolactin, INF-gamma, and TNF-alpha increased in response to LPS challenge (P<0.01) but was not different between c-section and natural-birth. Basal serum TNF-alpha tended to be greater in c-section versus natural-birth pigs at 14 d (P<0.10). Basal serum INF-gamma tended to be lower in c-section pigs versus natural-birth pigs at 14 d (P<0.08). These data indicate that c-section birth may alter basal immune system function in neonatal pigs.