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Successful reproduction in porcine depends on the coordinated synthesis and release of several hormones from the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary gland. Leptin, a hormone produced from adipocytes, interacts with other specific reproductive hormones and affects the reproductive success in swine. However, the full extent of leptin’s impact is unclear. This experiment sought to examine the difference in expression between the anterior pituitary gland leptin receptors in pregnant and non-pregnant pigs to confer the impact leptin has on reproductive success. Twentyfour crossbred gilts of similar age and weight had their estrus cycles synchronized and then were bred via artificial insemination. The gilts were slaughtered to collect blood, anterior pituitary glands, and reproductive tracts 30 days after insemination. Reproductive tracts were examined. Anterior pituitary glands underwent RNA extraction to determine relative abundance of porcine leptin receptor, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor, and luteinizing hormone (LHβ) expression compared to porcine β-actin. RNA was then reverse transcribed to produce cDNA to quantify porcine leptin receptor, GnRH receptor, LHβ expression in the mRNA. The results exhibit varying concentrations of GnRH receptor, LHβ, and leptin receptor expression in the anterior pituitary gland when pregnant and non-pregnant groups were compared. However, only LHβ expression in the anterior pituitary gland displayed statistical significance. Future experiments should include additional considerations such as animal adiposity which may influence leptin receptor expression. Increased anterior pituitary leptin receptor expression may be needed to maintain proper synthesis and release of gonadotropins throughout pregnancy in the pig. If true, leptin therapies could be devised and utilized to improve pregnancy rates as well as maintain or improve other hormones levels during the pregnancy period in porcine.




South Dakota State University


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