Effect of Progenos Supplementation on Embryonic and Placental Development

University of Alberta researchers report beneficial effects of Progenos (l–arginine) supplementation during pregnancy on early embryonic development and placental vascularisation while also investigation gene expression associated with these characteristics in sows during early gestation.
calendar icon 2 May 2012
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A study recently published in the journal, Reproduction, Fertility and Development, characterised gene expression associated with embryonic muscle development and placental vascularisation during early gestation in the pig and examined effects of Progenos supplementation in early pregnancy.

The researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada, with S. Novak as the first author, describe how tissues were collected from commercial multiparous sows (n=48) from days 16 to 49 of gestation.

In the placenta, qPCR revealed that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA) expression did not change from day 17 to 49 of gestation. However, KDR receptor and angiopoietin–1 and –2 expression were differentially regulated, with periods of high expression corresponding to two critical phases of angiogenesis in the pig. In the embryo, the pattern of myogenesis–related gene expression was consistent with available literature.

A commercially available nutritional supplement, Progenos (fed at 20g per day and containing l–arginine), added to the diet of sows from either days 15 to 29 (P15-29; n=33), days 30 to 44 (n=29) or from days 15 to 44 (n=76) of gestation tended to increase (P=0.058) embryonic growth rate compared with non-supplemented controls (n=79). Furthermore, angiogenin expression was higher (P=0.028) on day 30 of gestation in placentae from sows on the P15-29 Progenos treatment.

Novak and colleagues conclude that their results are consistent with proposed beneficial effects of l–arginine on early embryonic development and placental vascularisation.


Novak S., Paradis F., Patterson J.L., Pasternak J.A., Oxtoby K., Moore H.S., Hahn M., Dyck M.K., Dixon W.T. and Foxcroft G.R. 2012. Temporal candidate gene expression in the sow placenta and embryo during early gestation and effect of maternal Progenos supplementation on embryonic and placental development. Reprod. Fertil. Dev. 24(4):550-8.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (fee payable) by clicking here.

May 2012
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