Free Access
Reprod. Nutr. Dev.
Volume 45, Number 1, January-February 2005
Page(s) 57 - 68
Reprod. Nutr. Dev. 45 (2005) 57-68
DOI: 10.1051/rnd:2005005

Dietary protein restriction during lactation in primiparous sows with different live weights at farrowing: II. Consequences on reproductive performance and interactions with metabolic status

Hélène Quesnela, César A. Mejia-Guadarramab, Anne Pasquiera, Jean-Yves Dourmada and Armelle Pruniera

a  Unité Mixte de Recherche sur le Veau et le Porc, INRA, 35590 Saint-Gilles, France
b  Centro Nacional de Investigación en Fisiología Animal, INIFAP, Querétaro, México

(Received 18 June 2004; accepted 4 October 2004)

Abstract - The hypothesis that the restriction of dietary protein during lactation has different impacts on reproductive performance in light and heavy sows at farrowing was investigated, as well as the relationships between reproductive parameters and sow metabolic data. At farrowing, 38 primiparous sows were assigned to one of three groups: sows weighing 180 kg not restricted in dietary protein during lactation (180CP); sows weighing 180 or 240 kg restricted in protein (180LP and 240LP). Twenty-four sows were catheterized and serial blood samples were collected 1 d before and 1 d after weaning. The sows were inseminated at the first estrus after weaning and slaughtered at d 30 of gestation. Protein restriction reduced the proportion of sows that returned to estrus within 8 d after weaning in the 180LP sows (P < 0.03), but not in the 240LP sows. It also induced a reduction in ovulation rate in the 180LP sows (P < 0.05) and, to a lesser extent, in the 240LP sows (P = 0.12). When the sows were categorized according to return to estrus (WOI $\leq$ 8 or > 8 d), basal and mean concentrations of LH increased after weaning only in sows with a short WOI. Sows with a delayed estrus exhibited a higher ratio of plasma tyrosine to large neutral amino acids (AA, P < 0.01). In conclusion, large body reserves at farrowing buffer, at least in part, the detrimental effect of a strongly negative nitrogen balance on reproduction. We suggest that the alteration of AA profiles induced by dietary protein restriction and body protein loss alters LH secretion via modifications of the neurotransmitters involved in GnRH secretion.

Key words: sow / rearing / lactation / protein intake / amino acid / reproductive performance

Corresponding author: Hélène Quesnel

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2005