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Journal of animal science

Effects of in utero heat stress on postnatal body composition in pigs: II. Finishing phase.


PMID 25568359

Abstract

The detrimental effects of heat stress (HS) on animal productivity have been well documented. However, whether in utero HS interacts with a future thermal insult to alter tissue deposition during the finishing phase of pig growth is unknown. Study objectives were to compare the subsequent rate and quantity of whole-body tissue accretion in pigs exposed to differing in utero and postnatal thermal environments. Pregnant sows were exposed to thermoneutral (TN; cyclical 15°C nighttime and 22°C daytime; n = 9) or HS (cyclical 27°C nighttime and 37°C daytime; n = 11) conditions during their entire gestation. Twenty-four offspring from in utero TN (IUTN; n = 6 gilts and 6 barrows; 62.4 ± 0.7 kg BW) and in utero HS (IUHS; n = 6 gilts and 6 barrows; 61.9 ± 0.8 kg BW) were euthanized as part of an initial slaughter group (ISG). After the ISG, 48 pigs from IUTN (n = 12 gilts and 12 barrows; 66.1 ± 1.0 kg BW) and IUHS (n = 12 gilts and 12 barrows; 63.4 ± 0.7 kg BW) were exposed to constant HS (34.4 ± 1.8°C) or TN (22.7 ± 2.5°C) conditions until they reached 80.5 ± 1.5 kg BW, at which point they were sacrificed and their whole-body composition was determined. Homogenized carcasses were analyzed for N, crude fat, ash, water, and GE content. Data were analyzed using PROC MIXED in SAS 9.3. Rectal temperature and respiration rate increased during postnatal HS compared to TN (39.6 vs. 39.3°C and 92 vs. 58 breaths per minute, respectively; P < 0.01). Postnatal HS decreased (P < 0.01) feed intake (2.13 vs. 2.65 kg/d) and ADG (0.70 vs. 0.94 kg/d) compared to TN conditions, but neither variable was influenced by in utero environment. Whole-body protein and lipid accretion rates were reduced in HS pigs compared to TN controls (126 vs. 164 g/d and 218 vs. 294 g/d, respectively; P < 0.04). Independent of postnatal environments, IUHS reduced future protein accretion rates (16%; P < 0.01) and tended to increase lipid accretion rates (292 vs. 220 g/d; P < 0.07) compared to IUTN controls. The ratio of lipid to protein accretion rates increased (95%; P < 0.01) in IUHS pigs compared to IUTN controls. In summary, the future hierarchy of tissue accretion is altered by IUHS, and this modified nutrient partitioning favors adipose deposition at the expense of skeletal muscle during this specific phase of growth.

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