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Weichenberger, Julia; Reiter, Simon; Zöls, Susanne; Maierl, Johann; Kenngott, Rebecca Anna-Maria (26. July 2018): Alteration of vaccination schedule of Improvac® leads to histological and immunohistochemical changes in accessory sex glands of male pigs. 32nd Congress of the European Association of Veterinary Anatomists, 25. - 28. Juli 2018, Hannover, Germany.
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Abstract

Introduction: Timing of vaccination with Improvac®, an alternative to surgical castration in male pigs in order to prevent the occurrence of boar-taint, is the determining factor whether immunocastration is successful or not. Immunocastration affects the hypothalamic-pituitary- gonadal axis, which results in testicular dysfunction. The objective of this study was to investigate the accessory sex glands at different times of vaccination of 29 slaughtered boars divided into five groups. Materials and Methods: Intact boars (group G1) were compared to four groups being vaccinated at 8/12 weeks (group G2), 12/16 weeks (group G3) or 12/18 weeks of age (group G4/G5). Routine stainings, immunohistochemical investigations (Anti-K8/ 18, Anti-Vimentin, Anti-Androgen- Receptor etc.) and Periodic-Acid- Schiff (PAS) staining were performed of prostate, bulbourethral and vesicular glands. Results: Focus was put on secretory epithelium height and secretory activity. Differences were found in epithelium height, which is lowest in immunocastrated pigs of G3. The mean-value of G5 was 58% higher compared to G3. The glandular epithelium cells of vesicular glands of castrated pigs showed immunostaining for vimentin with stronger intensity in their basal parts and distinct staining of the basal cells, the epithelium of boars (G1) was vimentin-negative. Specific patterns of immunohistochemical staining against Cytokeratin 8/18 and Androgen-receptor were observed. Secretory epithelium cells and secreted material was PAS positive, even after incubation in amylase. The lengths of bulbourethral glands confirmed the histological results and assumption of a return of testicular function after an elongation of the recommended vaccination schedule. Conclusion: The growth and development of accessory sex glands is androgen-dependent, as well as the maintenance of secretory activity and size of the bulbourethral glands. The significance of the results and the need for further research is given because of the possibility of accessory sex glands to be a helpful tool in order to check the efficiency of immunocastration at slaughter line.