Influence of vitamin A injection before mating on oocyte development, follicular hormones, and ovulation in gilts fed high-energy diets.
Previous research revealed that treatment with vitamin A approximately 5 d before ovulation may increase litter size in weaned sows and improve embryonal survival in gilts fed high-energy diets that reduced embryonal survival. For the current study, the hypothesis was that administration of vitamin A before ovulation would alter development of follicles and oocytes in a way favorable to enhanced embryonal survival. (Landrace x Large White) x (Duroc x Hampshire) gilts (n = 44) were fed 11.0 Mcal ME x gilt(-1) x d(-1) beginning 7 d after second estrus and given (i.m.) corn oil or 1 x 10(6) IU of vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) on d 15 after second estrus. Gilts were checked for estrus every 4 h, mated naturally at third estrus, and assigned randomly to undergo midventral laparotomy beginning at 24 to 28, 28 to 32, 32 to 36, or 36 to 40 h after onset of third estrus. At laparotomy, ovulated oocytes and early-stage embryos were recovered from oviducts, and ovaries were removed for aspiration of oocytes and granulosa cells from unovulated follicles. Oocytes and embryos were stained for assessment of stage of development. Granulosa cells were cultured to assess their ability to secrete progesterone. Follicular fluid was assayed for progesterone, estradiol-17beta, IGF-I, and PGF2alpha. Treatment with vitamin A altered development of oocytes and embryos by decreasing the percentage at the germinal vesicle stage and increasing the percentage at advanced stages. Mean stage of development was increased by vitamin A, but variation in stage was decreased. Among follicles matched by meiotic stage of oocyte, follicular fluid concentrations of progesterone, IGF-I, and PGF2alpha were greater in vitamin A-treated gilts than in controls, but treatment with vitamin A in vivo did not affect LH-stimulated or unstimulated secretion of progesterone by granulosa cells in vitro. These data provide evidence that vitamin A may influence embryonic development by advancing resumption of meiosis and altering follicular hormonal environment during follicle maturation.
Whaley, SL; Hedgpeth, VS; Farin, CE; Martus, NS; Jayes, FC; Britt, JH
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