Oral Presentation Annual Meetings of the Endocrine Society of Australia and Society for Reproductive Biology and Australia and New Zealand Bone and Mineral Society 2016

Are serum levels of anti-Müllerian hormone and oestradiol in juvenile gilts predictive of the onset of puberty (#23)

Alicia N Steel 1 , Rebecca Z Athorn 2 , Christopher G Grupen 1
  1. University of Sydney, Brownlow Hill, NSW, Australia
  2. Rivalea Australia Pty. Ltd., Corowa, NSW, Australia

Recent studies in other species such as humans, mice, cattle and sheep have identified anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) as a good predictor of ovarian reserve and antral follicle populations [1-3]. We recently showed in 11-week old gilts that serum concentrations of AMH and oestradiol (E2) change in response to exogenous gonadotropin.  The aim of this study was to investigate whether serum AMH and E2 levels in juvenile gilts are associated with ovarian and uterine properties at slaughter. Blood samples were collected from 48 gilts aged 11-weeks on a farm located in central NSW. Sera were assayed for AMH via competitive inhibition ELISAs and E2 via competitive immunoassays. Reproductive tracts were collected at 23 weeks, upon slaughter. Trimmed carcass weight (CW), uterine horn dimensions and weight, as well as ovary dimensions, weight and surface follicle counts (small<3mm, medium=3-6mm, large>6 mm, corpora lutea) were recorded. Regression analysis showed a positive, linear association between AMH levels and uterine diameter (P=0.03), while E2 concentration had a negative, linear relationship with ovarian volume (P=0.07). Gilts reach puberty at 28 weeks of age on average. Interestingly, GLMM analysis indicated a larger proportion of gilts with low AMH levels (<19.120 ng/mL) reached puberty (corpora lutea present) by 23 weeks compared to gilts with higher AMH (19% vs. 6%; P=0.10). Moreover, a larger proportion of gilts with low E2 concentrations (<227.5 pg/mL) were pubertal at 23 weeks compared to those with higher levels (28% vs. 4%; P=0.03). The findings indicate that serum levels of AMH and E2 at 11 weeks of age may be used to select for a greater proportion of gilts that attain puberty early. The ability to identify gilts with good reproductive potential at a young age would be of great benefit to the pig industry.

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  2. 2. Campbell, B.M., M. Clinton, and R. Webb, The role of anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) during follicle development in a monovulatory species (sheep). Endocrinology, 2012. 153: p. 4533-4543.
  3. 3. Kevenaar, M.E., et al., Serum anti-mullerian hormone levels reflect the size of the primordial follicle pool in mice. Endocrinology, 2006. 147: p. 3228-34.