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Short- and long-term effects of immunization against gonadotropin-releasing hormone, using Improvac (TM), on sexual maturity, reproductive organs and sperm morphology in male pigs
Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden .
Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden .
Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden Qual Genet, Sweden .
Swedish University of Agriculture Science, Sweden .
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2009 (English)In: Theriogenology, ISSN 0093-691X, E-ISSN 1879-3231, Vol. 71, no 2, 302-310 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The objective of this study was to determine the short and long term effects of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine (Improvac (TM) Pfizer Ltd.), on sexual maturity, development of the reproductive organs, and the morphology of caudal epididymal spermatozoa in non-castrated male pigs. The pigs were slaughtered 4, 16 or 22 weeks after the second Improvac (TM) vaccination. A total of 80 crossbred non-castrated male pigs were included in this study comprising two experiments, a short-effect (Experiment 1) and a long-effect (Experiment 2). The first experiment included 56 pigs, 24 of them were maintained as controls and 32 were vaccinated twice, and slaughtered 4 weeks after the second vaccination. The second experiment included 24 pigs, 12 controls and 12 vaccinated twice, and slaughtered either 16 weeks (n = 6) or 22 weeks (n = 6) after the second vaccination. None of the immunized pigs was sexually mature at slaughter, i.e. 4, 16 or 22 weeks after second vaccination. Corresponding results of the control pigs showed that 50% had reached sexual maturity at the age corresponding to 4 weeks after the second vaccination. and 100% at slaughter 16, respectively, 22 weeks after vaccination. At 4, 16 and 22 weeks after second vaccination both testes weight and bulbourethral length were significantly reduced (p less than 0.001). The percentages of proximal droplets and abnormal heads were significantly lower in the control pigs than in the immunized pigs at slaughter 4 weeks after vaccination, whereas distal droplets were higher. For the other morphological parameters no significant differences were seen, but all mean values except for acrosome defects were numerically lower in the control pigs compared with the immunized pigs. For pigs slaughtered 16 or 22 weeks after vaccination, the vaccination effect was significant for percentages of proximal droplets, distal droplets, acrosome defects, acrosome abnormality and abnormal heads (p = 0.017-0.001). The immunization clearly disrupted the number and morphology of the interstitial Leydig cells, lasting throughout the study period (4-22 weeks after vaccination). Spermatogenesis was also clearly affected in the immunized pigs, to various degrees, from mild disruption (spermatocyte loss, decrease of the normal number of layers of germ cells) to severe loss of germ cells including tubuli with Sertoli cells-only (complete disappearance of germ cells), also covering the entire study period. The results indicated that the effect of immunization persisted for at least 22 weeks after the second vaccination. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier , 2009. Vol. 71, no 2, 302-310 p.
Keyword [en]
Immunization against GnRH; Sexual maturity; Reproductive organs; Sperm morphology; Male pig
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-101751DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2008.07.022ISI: 000262237100007OAI: diva2:666667
Available from: 2013-11-23 Created: 2013-11-22 Last updated: 2015-03-12

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Rodriguez-Martinez, Heriberto
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