Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 44, Number 4, July-August 2004
Page(s) 381 - 396
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 44 (2004) 381-396
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2004043

Hormones, IgG and lactose changes around parturition in plasma, and colostrum or saliva of multiparous sows

Nicolas Devillersa, Chantal Farmerb, Anne-Marie Mouniera, Jean LeDividicha and Armelle Pruniera

a  Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Unité Mixte de Recherche sur le Veau et le Porc, 35590 Saint-Gilles, France
b  Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Dairy and Swine R & D Center, PO Box 90, Lennoxville, Québec, Canada J1M 1Z3

(Received 25 January 2004; accepted 3 May 2004)

Abstract - Blood, colostrum and saliva samples were serially taken from 6 multiparous sows from day 109 of gestation until day 3 postpartum. Plasma was assayed for oestradiol-17 $\beta$ (E2), progesterone (P4), prolactin (PRL), cortisol, immunoglobulin G (IgG) and lactose. Colostrum was assayed for E2, P4, IgG and lactose. Lactoserum, obtained after ultra centrifugation of colostrum, was assayed for PRL. Saliva was assayed for cortisol. Time-related variations in hormone, IgG and lactose concentrations measured in plasma were parallel to those measured in colostrum, lactoserum or saliva. However, the concentrations were higher in colostrum or lactoserum and lower in saliva than in plasma. Ratios of concentrations of cortisol in saliva and PRL in lactoserum over those in plasma did not vary with time and averaged 0.2 and 1.6, respectively. Conversely, the ratios of concentrations of E2 and P4 in colostrum over those in plasma varied with time (P < 0.05) but were quite constant before the end of parturition, averaging 2.7 and 3.6, respectively. The ratios of concentrations of IgG and lactose in colostrum over those in plasma also varied with time (P < 0.05). The concentrations of hormones in plasma on the one hand and in colostrum, lactoserum or saliva on the other hand were significantly correlated but correlations varied with time (PRL across periods: r = 0.31; cortisol across periods: r = 0.60; E2 during parturition: r = 0.83; P4 before parturition: r = 0.82; P4 during parturition: r = 0.67). The present results indicate that around parturition, assays of hormones in colostrum or saliva can be used to study the hormonal status of sows. Furthermore, variations in colostrum and plasma concentrations of IgG and lactose are good indicators of the transition from colostrum to milk synthesis.

Key words: sow / parturition / steroid / prolactin / lactose / immunoglobulins

Corresponding author: Armelle Prunier

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004