Effect of Breed and Age on Histopathological Changes in Pig M. Semimembranosus

Dorota Wojtysiak 1 , Katarzyna Połtowicz 2 ,  and Władysław Migdał 3
  • 1 Department of Reproduction and Animal Anatomy, Agricultural University of Krakow, Al. Mickiewicza 24/28, 30-059 Kraków, Poland
  • 2 Department of Animal Genetics and Breeding, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice n. Kraków, Poland
  • 3 Department of Animal Products Technology, Agricultural University of Krakow, Balicka 122, 31-149 Kraków, Poland

Effect of Breed and Age on Histopathological Changes in Pig M. Semimembranosus

The aim of the study was to determine the type and extent of histopathological changes in m. semimembranosus of Polish Landrace (PL), Polish Large White (PLW), Duroc, Pietrain, and Puławska pigs at 60, 90, 120, 150, 180 and 210 days of age. Changes in fibre size (atrophy, hypertrophy - giant fibres), changes in fibre shape (angular fibres), degenerative lesions (necrosis with phagocytosis) and connective tissue hypertrophy were evaluated. The presence of giant fibres was the only histopathological change observed in all age groups of PL, PLW, Duroc and Pietrain pigs, with the percentage of pigs with this type of pathology and the frequency of giant, atrophic and angular fibres increasing significantly with age. In Puławska pigs, giant fibres were only found in the oldest pigs aged 210 days. In these animals, giant fibres as well as atrophic fibres (at 180 and 210 days of age) and angular fibres (at 120, 150, 180 and 210 days of age) occurred in the smallest number of animals and were least extensive. Meanwhile, Pietrain pigs were characterized by a greater number of animals, a significantly greater proportion of giant fibres in all analysed age groups, and a greater proportion of atrophic fibres at 180 and 210 days of age compared to the other pig breeds under analysis. For connective tissue hypertrophy and necrosis with phagocytosis, the changes were not extensive. It is concluded that both the advancing age of the animals and selection of the pigs for increased leanness significantly increases the incidence of histopathological changes in muscle tissue, which may directly translate into pork quality.

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