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Relationship between depth of individual backfat layers and size of their constituent adipocytes in sows

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The thickness of the inner, middle and outer layers of dorsal subcutaneous fat was determined in 16 culled sows after slaughter. Likewise, adipocyte size was determined in the three layers considered. The outer, middle, and inner layers thickness were 7.8 (SE=0.8), 18.5 (SE=1.9), and 4.9 (SE=0.9) mm, respectively, while the mean diameter of their adipocytes was 76.6 (SE=0.5), 89.0 (SE=0.5), and 76.3 (SE=0.5) ┬Ám, respectively. In the middle layer, the relation between fat thickness and adipocyte size was positive and significant (P<0.001). This supports the suggestion that this layer plays an active role in deposition and mobilization of fat reserves in sows.

Keywords: Adipocytes; pigs; subcutaneous fat

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Departamento Produccion Agraria, Universidad Publica de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadia, Pamplona, Spain

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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