Modern intensive farming may be stressful to animals because of the high degree of confinement,….has the potential to lead to overcrowding and stress. Chronic stress to the pregnant dam may affect her developing fetus, a process that has been termed prenatal stress. Prenatal stress has been shown to cause a number of adverse effects in offspring. These effects are thought to be mediated through maternal glucocorticoids that are released by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). The object of this study was to determine if administration of ACTH to pregnant sows would alter the physiological response of their offspring during stress later in life. Our data indicate that administration of ACTH to pregnant sows prolongs their offspring=s response to a stressor at 2.5 months of age and decreases their ability to heal wounds. Future research needs to identify the specific management practices that are chronically stressful to sows during gestation so that these practices can be altered to form a less stressful environment, and thus produce offspring that are able to perform optimally
Iowa State University
Haussmann, M. F. and Lay, D. C. Jr., "Administration of ACTH to Pregnant Sows Alters the Offspring’s Physiology in Response to Stress" (2000). Swine Research Report, 1999. 4.