Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Original Articles

Mid-pregnancy ewe shearing and the effects on fetus liver and muscle glycoprotein deposits

João Carlos Morini Junior, Adriana Caroprezo Morini, Lina Castelo Branco Motta, Carlos Eduardo Ambrosio, Phelipe Oliveira Favaron, Flávia Thomaz Verechia Rodrigues, Luiz Alberto Oliveira Ribeiro, Luciana Relly Bertolini, Marcelo Bertolini, Maria Angélica Miglino, Pedro Primo Bombonato

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The reason why shearing ewes in mid-pregnancy does increase the lamb birth weight is not completely clears. Therefore, we focused on the analyses of the deposition of glycogen in different fetal tissues to investigate this issue. Thirteen pregnant Australian Merino ewes, raised in native pasture, were separated in two groups. One group (n = 7) was shorn (SE) at 70 days of pregnancy, whereas another group (n = 6) remained unshorn (NSE). Cesarean section was conducted in all the ewes at near parturition, when placenta and fetuses sampling were collected. Placenta, liver and muscle samples were fixed and stained with glycoprotein-reactive acid-Schiff acid for analysis under light microscopy. The quantification of these glycoproteins was performed with the support of a program that analyzes the measurement of the intensity of staining by field. Five random fields from each sample were used, where statistical analyzes was used as normal test T. Among the analyzed regions, the deposition of glycoprotein between SE and NSE groups was statistically different in the hepatic portal vein (54,499.23 µm2 in SE and 34,830.73 µm2 in NSE) and in the total muscle area of the sample fragment (41,128, 7 µm2 and 31,942.7 µm2, respectively; P < 0.05). We conclude that shearing ewes at the 70th day of gestation lead to accumulation of glycoproteins in the liver and muscle of fetuses, which may be responsible for the increase in birth weights in that group.


bone, glycoprotein, lamb, muscle, placenta.  


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