Oxytocin in saliva of pigs: an assay for its measurement and changes after farrowing

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Abstract

Oxytocin is a hormone of interest in reproduction, but also in the field of psychology and behavior, being considered as a biomarker of positive emotions. Saliva can be a noninvasive way to measure oxytocin, which is very useful in species such as the pig where blood collection can produce a high degree of stress. In this study, a new assay for oxytocin measurement was developed, analytically validated, and used to measure possible changes in oxytocin in saliva of female pigs at different days after farrowing. The assay showed an adequate accuracy and precision and does not need a previous extraction step. In addition, oxytocin concentrations were significantly higher at day 1 of lactation than at day 9 after farrowing, but levels increased at day 20 again. This assay can contribute to a wider use of oxytocin measurements in pigs as it is a noninvasive sampling procedure that minimizes stress.

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López-Arjona, M., Mateo, S. V., Manteca, X., Escribano, D., Cerón, J. J., & Martínez-Subiela, S. (2020). Oxytocin in saliva of pigs: an assay for its measurement and changes after farrowing. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.domaniend.2019.106384

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