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Sow Nutrition during Early Gestation
In the pig, the establishment and maintenance of luteal function in early gestation is crucial to endometrial function, embryo development, and survival. The level of feed intake has a positive effect on formation of luteal tissue and progesterone secretion by the ovaries in the pre-implantation period, which is important for endometrial remodeling and secretion. These effects are independent of luteinising hormone (LH) and probably driven by metabolic cues, such as insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), and seem to support progesterone secretion and delivery to the endometrium, the latter which occurs directly, bypassing the systemic circulation. Even after implantation, a high feed intake seems to improve embryo survival and the maintenance of pregnancy. In this stage, luteal function is LH-dependent, although normal variations in energy intake may not result in pregnancy failure, but may contribute to nutrient supply to the embryos, since in this phase uterine capacity becomes limiting. Feed incidents, however, such as unintended fasting of animals or severe competition for feed, may result in embryo or even pregnancy loss, especially in periods of seasonal infertility. Specific nutrients such as arginine have a role in the vascularisation of the placenta and can improve the uterine capacity in the period after implantation.
The first 30 days of gestation are critical to the success of pregnancy in pigs. In this period, pregnancy is either established successfully or, when there is insufficient interaction between embryos and the uterus, the pregnancy is lost, or embryo survival is compromised. In this same period, the potential litter size is established, determined by the number of embryos that survive.
2. Focus of Nutrition: Establishment of Pregnancy, Embryo Survival, and Embryo Development
2.1. Luteal Tissue Formation and Maintenance
2.2. Progesterone, Prostaglandins, and Remodeling of the Endometrium
2.3. Embryo Elongation, Maternal Recognition, and Embryo Survival
Oviduct Ligation *
Oviduct Ligation *
|Number of sows||15||11||17||12|
|Ovulations||20.9 ± 1.5 a||11.6 ± 0.8 b||20.3 ± 0.9 a||10.7 ± 0.9 b|
|Viable embryos, % **||76 ± 5||75 ± 5||59 ± 4 a||77 ± 3 b|
|Length of implantations, cm||9.9 ± 1.1||11.4 ± 1.2||15.5 ± 1.3 x||19.0 ± 1.2 y|
|Embryo weight, g||0.22 ± 0.03||0.25 ± 0.05||4.3 ± 0.3 x||4.9 ± 0.2 y|
3. The Role of Nutrition in Luteal Tissue Formation, Progesterone, and Embryo Development Before Implantation
(High vs. Low *)
|Luteal Tissue Mass, g||Stage of
|||2.4 vs. 1.2 M||d1–25||7.2 a||6.7 b||d35|
|||+2.5 kg||d1–7||9.5 a||7.7 b||d30|
|||2.4 vs. 1.2 M||d1–10||8.2||7.9||d10|
|||2.4 vs. 0.8 M||-||No effect||-||-|
The entry is from 10.3390/ani11061720
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