Identification of serum stress biomarkers in pigs housed at different stocking densities

A. Marco-Ramell, R. Pato, R. Peña, Y. Saco, X. Manteca, J. L. Ruiz de la Torre, A. Bassols

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Eight Duroc×(Landrace×Large White) male pigs housed at a stocking rate of 0.50m 2/pig were subjected to a higher stocking rate of 0.25m 2/pig (higher density, HD) for two 4-day periods over 26days. Using biochemical and proteomic techniques serum and plasma samples were examined to identify potential biomarkers for monitoring stress due to HD housing. HD housed pigs showed significant differences (P< 0.001) in total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein-associated cholesterol, as well as in concentrations of the pig-major acute phase protein (Pig-MAP) (P= 0.002). No differences were observed in serum cortisol or other acute phase proteins such as haptoglobin, C-reactive protein or apolipoprotein A-I. HD-individuals also showed an imbalance in redox homeostasis, detected as an increase in the level of oxidized proteins measured as the total plasma carbonyl protein content (P< 0.001) with a compensatory increase in the activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (P= 0.012).Comparison of the serum proteome yielded a new potential stress biomarker, identified as actin by mass spectrometry. Cluster analysis of the results indicated that individuals segregated into two groups, with different response patterns, suggesting that the stress response depended on individual susceptibility. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Journal
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • Acute phase proteins
  • Housing density
  • Oxidative stress
  • Pig
  • Proteomics


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