Improving ovarian blood flow in pigs


This project aims to determine whether nutritional supplementation with arginine prior to ovulation improves ovarian blood flow and oocyte quality in female pigs.

Ovarian blood flow affects delivery of gonadotrophins and metabolic factors to the developing follicle, and as such affect oocyte and follicle competence. In humans, substances which improve ovarian blood flow also improve response to gonadotrophins.

Key methodology:

  • The effects of arginine supplementation on ovarian blood flow and response to exogenous gonadotrophins will be determined using young female pigs. Diets will be fed prior to puberty.
  • Response to exogenous gonadotrophins will be determined based on ovarian follicle growth.
  • One ovary will be used for collection of follicular fluid to determine intra-follicular levels of key metabolites, steroids and gonadotrophins.
  • The second ovary will be used to measure the expression of angiogenic factors (including, vascular endothelial factor, angiopoietin and hypoxia inducible factor).
  • Doppler ultrasound will be used prior to the first ovulation and on days 14, 16 and 18 of the first oestrous cycle to assess ovarian blood flow.
Will van Wettere


Dr Will Van Wettere

Co-supervisorsDr Karen Kind | Dr Jen Kelly - SARDI | Dr Hayley McGrice

Research area: Production animal health

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Animal Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Food and Nutrition Science, Honours projects - Will Van Wettere, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Production animal health, Honours projects - Jen Kelly, Honours projects - Karen Kind, Honours projects - Hayley McGrice