During late gestation the placental epithelial interface becomes highly folded, which involves changes in stromal hyaluronan. Hyaluronan is composed of glucoronate and N-acetyl-glucosamine. We hypothesized that supplementing gestating dams with glucosamine during this time would support placental folded-epithelial-bilayer development and increase litter size. In Exp. 1, gilts were unilaterally hysterectomized-ovariectomized (UHO).
Although deficiencies in porcine blastocyst elongation play a significant role in early embryonic mortality and establishment of within-litter developmental variation, the exact mechanisms of elongation are poorly understood. Secreted phosphoprotein 1 (SPP1) is increased within the uterine milieu during early porcine pregnancy and contains an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptide sequence that binds to cell surface integrins on the uterine endometrium and trophectoderm, promoting cell adhesion and migration.
The preweaning litter environment of gilts can affect subsequent development. In a recent experiment designed to test the effects of diet on gilt development, litter-of-origin traits including individual birth weights, immunocrits (a measure of colostrum intake), sow parity, number weaned, and individual weaning weights were collected for approximately 1,200 gilts that were progeny of approximately 300 sows.