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Alterations of serum Insulin-like Growth Factor-I (IGF-I) and IGF-binding proteins (IGFBPS) in swine infected with the protozoan parasiteSarcocystis miescheriana

Domestic Animal Endocrinology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0739-7240(92)90016-q
  • Biology


Abstract The effects of a Sarcocystis miescheriana infection on insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) and insulin-like growth factor binding proteins (IGFBPs) were investigated to determine possible mechanisms of growth retardation in growing pigs. Sixteen pigs averaging 14 kg body weight were divided into 4 groups of 4 pigs each and infected either with 0.5, 1.0, or 3.0 × 10 6 sporocysts of S. miescheriana. Four pigs were retained as non-infected controls; however, they became serologically positive during the course of the infection. Effects also were investigated in 2 groups of 3 pregnant sows. One group was infected with 0.5 × 10 6 sporocysts and the other group was retained as uninfected controls. Body weights of infected growing pigs were depressed as compared to controls following the acute phase 15 d after infection (dai). Serum concentrations of IGF-I dropped significantly (p < 0.05) during the acute phase of infection in all infected groups of growing pigs. Conversely, the amounts of unsaturated serum IGFBPs were elevated significantly (p < 0.05) during the acute phase of infection. Specifically, serum concentrations of IGFBP-1, IGFBP-2, and IGFBP-4 were elevated at this time, as determined by ligand blot analysis. There was no association between growth factor alterations and tissue damage as measured by serum creatinine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase levels. The extent of effects in growing pigs was related to the amount of the original parasite inoculum. During the acute phase of infection 2 of 3 pregnant sows aborted. The third sow went to term, but piglets were stillborn or died within 24 hr. Compared to uninfected controls, serum concentrations of IGF-I in infected pregnant sows were depressed during and after the acute phase of the infection. Levels of unsaturated serum IGFBPs in pregnant sows were not affected. These data suggest that decreased IGF-I levels and/or elevated levels of specific forms of IGFBPs may be a mechanism by which growth is affected in feeder pigs infected with S. miescheriana.

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