Aiming to evaluate the effect of the diet protein content on testicular parameters in pigs, 21 non-gelded male Dalland pigs were used and randomly divided into three groups. Males belonging to groups G2 and G3 received a diet with crude protein levels of 15% below and above, respectively, in relation to G1 (control). At 210 days of age, animals were castrated, and testis and epididymis were collected for morphometric and histomorphometry analyses. No difference was observed in relation to the total length of seminiferous tubules (G1=3239.9±333,3m; G2=2989.4±171,7m and G3=3059.5±254.9m), population of Sertoli cell (G1=4.7±0.5x10(9); G2=4.3±0.3x10(9) and G3=4.7±0.5x10(9)), population (G1=31.6±5.58x10(9); G2=27.3±4.0x10(9) and G3=26.4±3.9x10(9)) and volume of Leydig cells (G1=1289.3±182.6µm³; G2=1179.1±85.4µm³ and G3=1133.3±37.8µm³) and sperm production (G1=5.9±0.9x10(9); G2=5.6±0.6x10(9) and G3=5.1±0.3x10(9)). Protein levels were sufficient to maintain spermatogenesis in different experimental groups. It can be concluded that the magnitude of variation in levels of protein used in different stages of development was not sufficient to promote significant changes in testicular development and spermatogenesis process in adult animals.
pigs; sperm production; Sertoli cells; protein; testosterone