Polish journal of veterinary sciences

Factors determining sensitivity of prepubertal gilts to hormonal influence of zearalenone.

PMID 19459453


Among large husbandry animals, swine are the most predisposed to zearalenone (ZEA) intoxication, mainly because cereal is an important component of their diet. Studies performed so far (in vivo, in vitro) suggest that ZEA and its metabolites, which may appear due to ZEA biotransformation (especially alpha-zearalenole; alpha-ZOL), can modify signaling cascades of endogenous sex steroids, through either receptor or non-receptor mechanisms. Of all age groups of swine, immature gilts are particularly predisposed to zearalenone intoxication, as manifested by the occurrence of genital tract tissue dysfunction on exposure to ZEA. The intensity of the adverse effects observed at either systemic or local level in gilts, when compared to sexually mature swine females, suggest that specific age-dependent physiological conditions may exist, which determine the high sensitivity of gilts to exogenous estrogen-like compounds, including ZEA.

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