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Salivary Gland Adaptation to Dietary Inclusion of Hydrolysable Tannins in Boars

Mavri, Maša; Čandek-Potokar, Marjeta; Fazarinc, Gregor; Škrlep, Martin; Rutland, Catrin S.; Potočnik, Božidar; Batorek-Lukač, Nina; Kubale, Valentina

Salivary Gland Adaptation to Dietary Inclusion of Hydrolysable Tannins in Boars Thumbnail


Maša Mavri

Marjeta Čandek-Potokar

Gregor Fazarinc

Martin Škrlep

Božidar Potočnik

Nina Batorek-Lukač

Valentina Kubale


The ingestion of hydrolysable tannins as a potential nutrient to reduce boar odor in entire males results in the significant enlargement of parotid glands (parotidomegaly). The objective of this study was to characterize the effects of different levels of hydrolysable tannins in the diet of fattening boars (n = 24) on salivary gland morphology and proline-rich protein (PRP) expression at the histological level. Four treatment groups of pigs (n = 6 per group) were fed either a control (T0) or experimental diet, where the T0 diet was supplemented with 1% (T1), 2% (T2), or 3% (T3) of the hydrolysable tannin-rich extract Farmatan®. After slaughter, the parotid and mandibular glands of the experimental pigs were harvested and dissected for staining using Goldner’s Trichrome method, and immunohistochemical studies with antibodies against PRPs. Morphometric analysis was performed on microtome sections of both salivary glands, to measure the acinar area, the lobular area, the area of the secretory ductal cells, and the sizes of glandular cells and their nuclei. Histological assessment revealed that significant parotidomegaly was only present in the T3 group, based on the presence of larger glandular lobules, acinar areas, and their higher nucleus to cytoplasm ratio. The immunohistochemical method, supported by color intensity measurements, indicated significant increases in basic PRPs (PRB2) in the T3 and acidic PRPs (PRH1/2) in the T1 groups. Tannin supplementation did not affect the histo-morphological properties of the mandibular gland. This study confirms that pigs can adapt to a tannin-rich diet by making structural changes in their parotid salivary gland, indicating its higher functional activity.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 19, 2022
Online Publication Date Aug 24, 2022
Publication Date Sep 1, 2022
Deposit Date Aug 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date Aug 30, 2022
Journal Animals
Electronic ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher MDPI AG
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 17
Article Number 2171
Keywords General Veterinary, Animal Science and Zoology
Public URL
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