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Testicular parameters and spermatogenesis in different birthweight boars

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1720-1728
JournalReproduction, Fertility and Development
Volume29
Issue number9
Early online date28 Sep 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Abstract

The present study investigated the effect of birthweight on testicular development and spermatogenesis in boars. Twenty-four pairs of littermate boars were selected: one piglet with the highest birthweight (HW) and the other with the lowest birthweight (LW) within the litter. Two subsets of 12 pairs of male littermates from each birthweight group were obtained after selection: one subset was orchiectomised at 8 days and the other at 8 months of age. HW boars had higher body and testicular weights at both ages (P < 0.05). Testosterone concentrations and the relative expression of 17α-hydroxylase in the testis were similar between birthweight groups. Birthweight affected somatic and germ cell numbers in the neonatal testis, which were higher in HW boars (P < 0.05). Moreover, a significant reduction in the number of pachytene spermatocytes and round spermatids was observed in LW boars (P < 0.05) at 8 months of age, which caused a decrease in the total number of elongated spermatids and daily sperm production (P < 0.05). Hence, HW boars have the potential to produce more spermatozoa and consequently more semen doses per ejaculate, and would be very valuable to an industry that relies on AI.

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