Effect of porcine somatotropin on metabolism, testicular size and sperm characteristics in young boars

ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of pST injections on metabolism, testicular size, and sperm characteristics in young boars. Sixty 22-day old piglets were divided into two groups: pST (n=30) and Control (n=30). The pST group was submitted to pST injections (90µg/kg body weight) every three days up to 330 days of age. Blood collections were performed weekly. Testicular weight was measures at 22, 82, 142, 202 and 365 days of age. Libido and fresh semen characteristics were evaluated between 150 and 210 days of age. Semen characteristics were also evaluated during a 72h storage period (15ºC). Testosterone, albumin, and phosphorus blood concentrations were higher in the pST group (P<0.05). The pST group had a higher IGF-I concentration in seminal plasma (P=0.05) and higher testicular weight (P<0.001) compared to the Control group. The pST group had higher ejaculate volume (P<0.001), total sperm count (P=0.047) and number of inseminating doses/ejaculate (P=0.047). During the 72h storage period, the pST group had a lower number of morphological alterations (P<0.001) compared to the Control group. In sum, pST injection in young boars increased testosterone concentration, testicular size, and sperm quality.