Interpretive Summary: Maternal immune activation and dietary soy isoflavone supplementation influence pig immune function but not muscle fiber formation
By: Erin E. Bryan, Xuenan Chen, Brooke Nicole Smith, Ryan Neil Dilger, and Anna C. Dilger
Gestational health challenges may influence growth performance and immunity of offspring pigs during postnatal life. In particular, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is endemic in the U.S. herd, but its effects on surviving offspring pigs are largely unknown. Further, dietary supplementation with soy isoflavones lessened the severity of PRRSV infections in weaning and growing pigs. Therefore, the goals of this study were to determine the impact of maternal PRRSV infection on offspring muscle and immune development and the potential of isoflavones to mitigate those effects. Isoflavone supplementation reduced viral load in dams 21 d after infection, but did not alter clinical illness indicators. Pig mortality was increased by PRRSV infection in dams, and surviving pigs were infected with PRRSV throughout the study. Interestingly, muscle and organ weights were not different among treatments at birth, but infected litters were lighter at weaning, likely due to postnatal infection. Muscle fiber number and size did not differ between treatments. Pigs born to infected dams had slower responses during innate immune stimulation and then failed to mount a proper vaccine response during adaptive immune stimulation. Overall, maternal infection altered offspring immune responses but not muscle fiber development. Isoflavone supplementation did not mitigate these effects.
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.