Blood was collected from 136, seven week old, piglets after 11 sires and 34 dams. The genetic variation in Concanavalin A (Con A) induced proliferation and interleukin 2 (IL-2) production by peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC's) isolated from the piglets was studied. Further, the capacity to produce a-interferon (a-IFN) in vitro was determined for PBMC's obtained from 40 of the piglets, while levels of plasma immunoglobulins (Ig) were measured in blood from 52 of the piglets. Pronounced differences between litters were observed in all the immune parameters studied, except a-IFN production. Also, large individual differences in magnitudes of Con A induced proliferation and IL-2 production were seen. Both the time course and magnitude of IL-2 activity differed significantly between offspring of the various sires, while only the time course, but not the magnitude of proliferation differed between the offspring groups. Ig levels in piglet plasma were significantly influenced by sire despite the presence of maternal antibodies. The a-IFN activity differed slightly between the offspring groups.

I. Edfors-Lilja, E. Wattrang, U. Magnuson, C. Fossum

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume XVI. Poultry, fish and horse genetics and breeding, growth and reproduction, immune response and disease resistance., , 411–414, 1990
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