Maternal immune activation and dietary soy isoflavone supplementation influence pig immune function but not muscle fiber formation

Erin E. Bryan, Xuenan Chen, Brooke Nicole Smith, Ryan Neil Dilger, Anna C. Dilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The goals of this study were to determine the impact of maternal PRRSV infection on offspring muscle and immune development and the potential of dietary soy isoflavones to mitigate those effects. Thirteen first-parity gilts ("gilts") were randomly allotted into one of three treatments: not infected and fed a diet devoid of isoflavones (CON), infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and fed the control diet (POS) or that supplemented with 1,500 mg/kg soy-derived isoflavones (ISF). Gilts were inoculated with PRRSV intranasally on gestational day (GD) 70. After farrowing (GD 114 ± 2), 1-2 offspring ("pigs") closest to the average litter weight were selected either at birth (3 ± 2 d of age) or weaning (21 ± 2 d of age) to determine body, muscle, and organ weights as well as muscle cell number and size. Four weaned pigs of average body weight within each litter were selected for postnatal immune challenge. At PND 52, pigs were injected with 5 ?g/kg BW lipopolysaccharide (LPS) intraperitoneally. Serum was collected at 0, 4, and 8 h following LPS administration to analyze tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?). At PND 59, pigs were administered a novel vaccine to elicit an adaptive immune response. At PND 59, 66, and 73, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated and T-cell populations determined by flow cytometry. Both POS and ISF pigs exhibited persistent PRRSV infections throughout the study (PND 1-73). At PND 3, whole body, muscle, and organ weights were not different (P > 0.22) between groups, with the exception of relative liver weight, which was increased (P < 0.05) in POS compared with CON pigs. At PND 21, ISF pigs had reduced (P ? 0.05) whole body and muscle weights, but greater (P < 0.05) kidney weight compared with CON, and greater (P < 0.05) relative liver weight compared with CON and POS. Muscle fiber number and size were not different (P > 0.39) between groups at birth or weaning. After LPS administration, TNF-? was greatest in ISF pigs (P < 0.05) at both 0 and 8 h post-challenge. At the peak time-point of 4 h post-challenge, ISF pigs had the greatest concentration of TNF-? and CON pigs had the lowest, with POS pigs being intermediate (P = 0.01). After vaccination, ISF offspring had shifts in T-cell populations indicating an impaired immune response. These data indicate that maternal PRRSV infection may impact offspring organ growth and immune function, particularly when the dam is supplemented with isoflavones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberskac134
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • Immune system
  • Isoflavone
  • Muscle development
  • Prenatal programming
  • Prrsv

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Genetics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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