Gas exchange and hatchability of chicken eggs incubated at simulated high altitude.

Journal of Applied Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.43). 03/1985; 58(2):416-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Chicken eggs laid at sea level were incubated at sea level (control conditions), at a simulated altitude of 5.5 km without any further measures (natural conditions), and at a simulated altitude of 5.7 km at optimal incubator gas composition (optimal conditions). Under optimal conditions the incubator relative humidity was 70% throughout incubation, the gas mixture supplied to the incubator contained 45% O2-55% N2, and the ventilation rate was reduced to 6% of control in order to maintain the normal air-space gas tensions and to compensate for the increased eggshell conductance at altitude. The embryos that developed under control conditions showed a normal CO2 production with 94% hatchability of fertile eggs. Under natural conditions at altitude all embryos died within a few days. Optimal conditions resulted in an almost normal gas exchange and in an improvement of hatchability from 0 to 81% of fertile eggs.

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    • "Specific processes that take place during embryonic lung development and structures in animals that live at high altitudes are the basis for highly efficient pulmonary ventilation, which leads to altitude adaptation [2], [3]. For plain chickens at low altitudes, inadequate oxygen exchange results in hypoxia syndrome and is lethal [4]–[6]. Therefore, determining the particular altitude adaptation characteristics of high-altitude chickens is important. "
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    ABSTRACT: The lungs undergo changes that are adaptive for high elevation in certain animal species. In chickens, animals bred at high elevations (e.g., Tibet chickens) are better able to hatch and survive under high-altitude conditions. In addition, lowland chicken breeds undergo physiological effects and suffer greater mortality when they are exposed to hypoxic conditions during embryonic development. Although these physiological effects have been noted, the mechanisms that are responsible for hypoxia-induced changes in lung development and function are not known. Here we have examined the role of a particular microRNA (miRNA) in the regulation of lung development under hypoxic conditions. When chicks were incubated in low oxygen (hypoxia), miR-15a was significantly increased in embryonic lung tissue. The expression level of miR-15a in hypoxic Tibet chicken embryos increased and remained relatively high at embryonic day (E)16-20, whereas in normal chickens, expression increased and peaked at E19-20, at which time the cross-current gas exchange system (CCGS) is developing. Bcl-2 was a translationally repressed target of miR-15a in these chickens. miR-16, a cluster and family member of miR-15a, was detected but did not participate in the posttranscriptional regulation of bcl-2. Around E19, the hypoxia-induced decrease in Bcl-2 protein resulted in apoptosis in the mesenchyme around the migrating tubes, which led to an expansion and migration of the tubes that would become the air capillary network and the CCGS. Thus, interfering with miR-15a expression in lung tissue may be a novel therapeutic strategy for hypoxia insults and altitude adaptation.
    PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e98868. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0098868 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "However, cardiac output drops in hypoxic embryos (Piiper et al 1980) and this response may offset the benefits of the onset of adult haemoglobin synthesis and improved blood 0 2 affinity. It is unknown how these characteristics vary from those of wild birds incubated at high altitude, Chicken eggs can be incubated successfully at a simulated altitude of 5·7 km in incubator consisting of 70% relative humidity, 45% O 2 , and 55% N 2 (Visschedijk 1985). These conditions offset the high rates of water loss at that altitude and prevent hypoxia in the embryos. "
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    ABSTRACT: A few avian species breed at altitudes up to 6500 m. Embryos in eggs laid at high altitudes are confronted with the problem that gases diffuse more rapidly at low barometric pressure than at sea level. Data on birds breeding up to 4500 m indicate that modifications in eggshell structure and embryonic physiology foster successful development in these groups. At moderate altitudes (up to 3600 m), shell conductance to gases (corrected to 760 torr) is decreased in approximate proportion to the reduction in barometric pressure, thus offsetting the increased tendency of gases to diffuse. At altitudes above 4000 m, the conductance is increased above levels at moderate altitudes, thus fostering improvement in oxygen availability, while increasing rates of water and CO2 losses. Above 4000 m, embryonic physiological properties become increasingly important for coping with hypoxic, hypocapnic, and dehydrated conditions inside the shell. Nothing is known about characteristics of eggshells and embryos in eggs laid between 4500 and 6500 m. Despite years of artificial selection, domestic fowl do not breed successfully much above 3000 m. Embryos of domestic fowl appear highly sensitive to the effects of hypoxia.
    Journal of Biosciences 10/1994; 19(4):429-440. DOI:10.1007/BF02703179 · 1.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. The earliest mention of artificial incubation occurs in Aristotle's Historia Animalium written in the 4th century BC. A brief survey of the history of incubation is given from that time to the present. 2. Artificial incubation is also practised by birds belonging to the family of the Megapodes: the Brush Turkey and the Mallee Fowl build a mound and maintain the required temperature of the eggs laid in it. 3. The importance of functional eggshell porosity and incubator ventilation rate for maintaining optimal gas tensions in the embryonic medium (the gas space below the shell) is discussed. 4. Among the early scientific studies (reviewed by Landauer, Lundy, Freeman) particular attention is paid to Barott's (1937) systematic work on temperature, relative humidity and oxygen concentration. 5. The requirements of the embryo with regard to temperature, humidity and gaseous environment are defined. The importance of using gas tensions instead of gas concentrations is once again emphasised. 6. The problems of incubation at high altitude are explained and a successful method for hatching eggs at any terrestrial altitude is described. 7. Although hens can be selected for the functional porosity of their eggs, the procedure does not offer any worthwhile advantages. 8. If functional eggshell porosity and embryonic oxygen uptake are known, then optimal incubator ventilation rate can be predicted when a given optimum gas space oxygen tension is assumed.
    British Poultry Science 04/1991; 32(1):3-20. DOI:10.1080/00071669108417323 · 0.78 Impact Factor
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