Objective—To determine the enzymatic and hormonal responses, heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) production, and Hsp70 mRNA expression in heart and kidney tissues of transport-stressed pigs.
Animals—24 pigs (mean weight, 20 ± 1 kg).
Procedures—Pigs were randomly placed into groups of 12 each. One group was transported for 2 hours. The other group was kept under normal conditions and used as control pigs. Sera were used to detect triiodothyronine, thyroxine, and cortisol concentrations and alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and creatine kinase activities. The heart and kidneys of anesthetized pigs were harvested and frozen in liquid nitrogen for quantification of Hsp70 and Hsp70 mRNA.
Results—No significant differences were detected in serum alanine aminotransferase activity and triiodothyronine and cortisol concentrations between groups; however, the serum creatine kinase and aspartate aminotransferase activities and thyroxine concentrations were higher in transported pigs. Densitometric readings of western blots revealed that the amount of Hsp70 in heart and kidney tissues was significantly higher in transported pigs, compared with control pigs. Results of fluorescence quantitative real-time PCR assay revealed that the Hsp70 mRNA transcription in heart tissue, but not kidney tissue, was significantly higher in transported pigs, compared with control pigs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Transportation imposed a severe stress on pigs that was manifested as increased serum activities of aspartate aminotransferase and creatine kinase and increased amounts of Hsp70 and Hsp70 mRNA expression in heart and kidney tissues. Changes in serum enzyme activities were related to the tissue damage of transport-stressed pigs.