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Patterns of Corpora Lutea Growth and Progesterone Secretion in Sows with Thrifty Genotype and Leptin Resistance due to Leptin Receptor Gene Polymorphisms (Iberian Pig)


Author’s address (for correspondence): Antonio Gonzalez-Bulnes, Departamento de Reproducción Animal-INIA. Avda. Puerta de Hierro s/n. 28040 Madrid, Spain. E-mail:


The current study aimed to compare luteal function, as measured by corpora lutea dynamics and progesterone secretion, in 10 sows with obesity/leptin resistance genotype (Iberian pig) and 10 females of lean commercial crosses (Large White × Landrace). In all the animals, the oestrous cycle was synchronized with progestagens, and ovulation was induced by exogenous gonadotrophins. Thereafter, number and size of follicles and plasma oestradiol concentration were determined at oestrus detection, and number and size of corpora lutea and progesterone concentration were evaluated from Day 4 to 12 of the cycle. There were no differences between genotypes in follicle population and oestradiol concentration, and ovulation rate (15.2 ± 1.3 in Iberian vs 12.7 ± 1.8 in LWxL sows); however, there was a higher percentage of Iberian than control sows showing luteal cysts (66.7% vs 30%, respectively; p < 0.05). In both breeds, both total luteal area and plasma progesterone concentration grew linearly from Day 4 to 8 (p < 0.01) and remained more stable between Days 8 and 12, without significant differences between genotypes. In conclusion, current study supports that ovulatory processes and luteal functionality are not the main limiting factors for prolificacy in a pig model of leptin resistance and obesity.