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Animal Science

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Journal of Animal Science





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Heat stress (HS) negatively impacts several swine production variables, including carcass fat quality and quantity. Pigs reared in HS have more adipose tissue than energetically predicted, explainable, in part, by HS-induced hyperinsulinemia. Study objectives were to evaluate insulin’s role in altering fat characteristics during HS via feeding insulin-sensitizing compounds. Forty crossbred barrows (113 ± 9 kg BW) were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 environment by diet treatments: 1) thermoneutral (TN) fed ad libitum (TNAL), 2) TN and pair-fed (TNPF), 3) HS fed ad libitum (HSAL), 4) HS fed ad libitum with sterculic oil (SO) supplementation (HSSO; 13 g/d), and 5) HS fed ad libitum with dietary chromium (Cr) supplementation (HSCr; 0.5 mg/d; Kemin Industries, Des Moines, IA). The study consisted of 3 experimental periods (P). During P0 (2 d), all pigs were exposed to TN conditions (23 ± 3°C, 68 ± 10% RH) and fed ad libitum. During P1 (7 d), all pigs received their respective dietary supplements, were maintained in TN conditions, and fed ad libitum. During P2 (21 d), HSAL, HSSO, and HSCr pigs were fed ad libitum and exposed to cyclical HS conditions (28 to 33°C, 58 ± 10% RH). The TNAL and TNPF pigs remained in TN conditions and were fed ad libitum or pairfed to their HSAL counterparts. Rectal temperature (TR), respiration rate (RR), and skin temperature (TS) were obtained daily at 0600 and 1800 h. At 1800 h, HS exposed pigs had increased TR, RR, and TS relative to TNAL controls (1.13°C, 48 bpm, and 3.51°C, respectively; P < 0.01). During wk 2 and 3 of P2, HSSO pigs had increased 1800 h TR relative to HSAL and HSCr (~0.40 and ~0.42°C, respectively; P ≤ 0.05). Heat stress decreased ADFI and ADG compared to TNAL pigs (2.24 vs. 3.28 and 0.63 vs. 1.09 kg/d, respectively; P < 0.01) and neither variable was affected by SO or Cr supplementation. Heat stress increased or tended to increase moisture content of abdominal (7.7 vs. 5.9%; P = 0.07) and inner s.c. (11.4 vs. 9.8%; P < 0.05) adipose depots compared to TNAL controls. Interestingly, TNPF pigs also had increased adipose tissue moisture content and this was most pronounced in the outer s.c. depot (15.0 vs. 12.2%; P < 0.01) compared to TNAL pigs. Heat stress had little or no effect on fatty acid composition of abdominal, inner, and outer s.c. adipose tissue depots. In summary, the negative effects of HS on fat quality do not appear to be fatty acid composition related, but may be explained by increased adipose tissue moisture content.


This is a manuscript of an article published as Seibert, J. T., M. Abuajamieh, M. V. Sanz Fernandez, J. S. Johnson, S. K. Kvidera, E. A. Horst, E. J. Mayorga et al. "Effects of heat stress and insulin sensitizers on pig adipose tissue." Journal of animal science 96, no. 2 (2018): 510-520. doi:10.1093/jas/skx067. Posted with permission.

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