Transgenic Research

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 515–527 | Cite as

The increased expression of follicle-stimulating hormone leads to a decrease of fecundity in transgenic Large White female pigs

  • Kai Jiang
  • Pan Xu
  • Wanbo Li
  • Qiang Yang
  • Longyun Li
  • Chuanmin Qiao
  • Huanfa Gong
  • Hao Zheng
  • Zhimin Zhou
  • Hao Fu
  • Qiuyan Li
  • Yuyun XingEmail author
  • Jun Ren
Original Paper


Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is a pituitary gonadotropin regulating reproduction in mammals. Overexpression of the exogenous FSHα/β genes from Chinese Erhualian pigs improved female fecundity of transgenic (TG) mice and male spermatogenesis ability of Large White TG boars. Here, we investigated the impact of the exogenous FSHα/β genes on female reproductive performance of Large White TG pigs. First, we identified the integration site of the exogenous FSHα/β genes at 140,646,456 bp on chromosome 9 in these TG pigs using whole-genome sequencing. Then, we showed that TG gilts had higher levels of serum FSH and FSHβ protein in pituitary while had a potentially lower number of born piglets than their wild-type half sibs. TG gilts grew healthily and normally without significant difference in growth and health parameters as compared to WT gilts. The expression levels of FSHR, LHR, ESR1 and ESR2 were significantly lower in TG gilts than in WT gilts at the age of 300 days. Taken together, we proposed that the overexpressed FSHα/β transgenes could cause deteriorate fecundity via disturbing the normal expression of the endogenous reproduction-related genes in female pigs. Our findings provide insight into the effect of overexpression of FSHα/β on female reproduction performance in pigs.


Follicle-stimulating hormone Pig BAC Transgenic animals Integration site Whole-genome sequencing Female reproductive traits 



This project was supported by National Key Research Program of China (2016ZX08006-003) and Natural Science Foundation of China (31402058).

Author contributions

All authors read and approved the final manuscript. J.R. and Y.X. conceived and designed the experiment, and revised the manuscript; K.J. and P.X. performed the experiment; Q.Y., L.L., C.Q. H.G., H.Z., Z.Z., H.F. and Q.L. contributed reagents and materials; P.X. and W.L. analyzed the data; K.J and P.X. prepared the figures and drafted the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the author(s).

Supplementary material

11248_2017_26_MOESM1_ESM.tif (387 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (TIFF 386 kb)
11248_2017_26_MOESM2_ESM.docx (18 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 17 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Pig Genetic Improvement and Production TechnologyJiangxi Agricultural UniversityNanchangPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, College of Biological SciencesChina Agricultural UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Jiangsu Agri-animal Husbandry Vocational CollegeTaizhouPeople’s Republic of China

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