Effect of immunological castration of male pigs on morphological and functional con-dition of the testicles
AbstractChanges in the priorities of the treatment of animals in the conditions of intense technology of production of livestock products are based on the necessity of wellbeing of animals. Therefore, there is a need of search for and broad introduction of generally accepted alternatives to surgery, which would use modern means of castration, particularly immunocastration. The study presents morpho-functional substantiation of practicability of using immunological castration in the conditions of industrial production of pork. At the same time, we studied immunological castration using Improvak on the morphological and physiological condition of the testicles of male pigs. The testosterone level was determined using radioimmunologic method after 2, 4, 6, 8 weeks of immunological and surgical castrations, and also in intact boars of the control group. During the slaughter, we selected biopates of the testicles in immunological castrates and pigs of the control group for histological examination. The testosterone level 2 weeks after castration was the lowest in the animals castrated using Improvak. This indicator gradually increased, and after 8 weeks was higher than in the surgically castrated pigs. In the latter, the level of testosterone gradually decreased for 8 weeks, and did not significantly change in non-castrated pigs. The last stages of spermatogenesis in immunocastrates were inhibited after the second vaccination. As a result of immunological castration, the interstitial tissue of the testicle underwent changes. Between the tubules, a spreading of the loose connective tissue was observed. Leydig cells lost hyper chromaticity of the cytoplasm and typical polygonal profile, and their functional potential decreased. This fact was confirmed by the changes in the Hertwig’s ratio. In particular, we observed decrease in the value of the nuclear-cytoplasmic ratio. There were also a time shift of mitotic cycle, low degree of differentiation of spermatogonia and rupture of the course of the subsequent stages of spermatogenesis. However, there occurred multiplication of primary spermatogonia, single cellular divisions, and in the ductus deferentes, there could be found single spermatids. Some of them formed specific cellular groups of rounded and elliptic shapes in the seminiferous tubules. These structures were absent in the testicles of the control animals. Microstructural changes in the swine after injecting Improvak were characterized by deficiency of Leydig cells, indicating absence of the normal hormonal background, as confirmed by the results of the study of testosterone level. The epithelium-spermatogenic layer was underdeveloped, and the lumens of the tubules were in some places filled with generations of spermatocytes. In some places, meiosis was observed, which also indicates insignificant functioning of the testicles. Vaccination with Improvak caused atrophy of the testicles in swine and decrease in their functional condition, allowing it to be recommended it for broader application as an alternative to surgical castration.
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