AbstractTo evaluate the effects on litter size and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and of uteroferrln, crossbreed gilts (n = 24) were supplemented with 0 or 60 mg dally of riboflavin during gestation. Litter size and average weight of piglets were determined at birth and at weaning. Samples of placenta were collected at farrowing to determine the relative expression of VEGF and uteroferrln. Supplemented and not supplemented gilts had 11.2 ± 0.6 and 8.2 ± 0.6 of total piglets born, respectively (P < 0.004). There were also corresponding increases In piglets born alive with 10.5 ± 0.6 versus 8.1 ± 0.6 (P< 0.01) and In total piglets weaned by the gilts supplemented with riboflavin (9.41 ± 0.6 and 7.5 ± 0.6, P < 0.05). A difference between treatments was found for total litter weight at birth, but not at weaning. Relative expression of VEGF was greater (P < 0.07) In the placenta of gilts supplemented with riboflavin than In those not supplemented, but no differences between treatments were observed In the relative expression of uteroferrln. The present results demonstrate that dally supplementation with 60 mg of riboflavin to gilts during gestation may Increase litter size, perhaps by Improving vascularization of the placenta, thus enhancing embryo/fetus survival.
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