J P Zhao

Shandong Agricultural University, T’ai-an-shih, Shandong Sheng, China

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Publications (9)18.19 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Molt, a natural behavior that is initiated at the end of a lay cycle in birds, is implicated in the regression of the reproductive system in birds followed by a rejuvenation of egg-laying potential. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the physiological basis for the apparent rejuvenation of egg production that occurs following molting. Eighty-three-week-old Hy-line hens, were obtained and subjected to forced molting. Blood and tissue samples were obtained at the beginning of molt (at 83 weeks of age), during molt (at 85 weeks of age) and postmolt (at 89 weeks of age). The laying performance, egg quality, blood parameters and gene expression in the liver and the ovary were investigated before, during and after molt. There was an obvious increase in the postmolt laying rate from 70% premolt to 93% postmolt. Eggshell thickness, albumin height, Haugh unit and egg shape index were all significantly improved after molt. The circulating levels of estrogen and progesterone were lower in the postmolt hens, whereas the concentrations of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone were not significantly affected by molt. These results indicate that enhanced hepatic yolk precursor synthesis and secretion contribute to increased postmolt laying performance. Molt enhanced the sensitivity of sex hormones in F1 follicles. Augmented gene expression in the ovary was involved in the rejuvenation of the reproductive performance of molted hens. These results suggest that facilitated yolk-precursor uptake by follicles is involved in the rejuvenation of the reproductive performance of molted hens.
    General and Comparative Endocrinology 09/2013; · 2.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated the interaction of stocking density and cool perch availability on broiler chickens raised at high ambient temperature (>30.8°C). Behavior, live performance, and the incidence of footpad and hock burns and abdominal plumage damage were investigated over a 4-wk experimental period. A total of 1,152 one-day-old Arbor Acres chicks were subjected to a 2 (cool perches) × 3 (stocking densities) factorial arrangement of treatments. From 1 d of age, birds were provided with or without cool perches at each of 3 stocking densities (12, 16, or 20 birds/m(2); low, medium, or high stocking density, respectively) and corresponded to 48, 64, and 80 birds per pen. The perch design provided 380 cm of linear perching space in each treatment pen. The results showed that high stocking density decreased the growth (P < 0.05) and welfare (P < 0.01) of broilers. Cool perch availability increased BW gain and feed conversion efficiency of broilers (P < 0.05) regardless of stocking density. The birds' use of cool perches increased with age (P < 0.01) and decreased with higher stocking density (P < 0.05). The accessibility of cool perches changed birds' behavior patterns (P < 0.01) and reduced footpad or hock burns and damage to abdominal plumage (P < 0.05). These results suggest that cool perches have a favorable effect on the performance and welfare of broilers.
    Poultry Science 08/2013; 92(8):1962-71. · 1.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A study was performed to characterize the effects of dexamethasone (DEX) and insulin administration on gene expression of glucose transporters (GLUT) in chicken skeletal muscles and in cultured embryonic myoblasts. Three groups of 1-wk-old male chickens were randomly subjected to one of the following treatments for 7 d: DEX (a subcutaneous injection of 1 mg/kg BW, twice/day at 0800 h and 2000 h), controls (injected with saline), and pair-fed controls (restricted to the same feed intake as for the DEX treatment). Expressions of GLUT-1, GLUT-3, GLUT-8, and 18S rRNA mRNAs were determined by quantitative reverse transcription PCR in the pectoralis major (PM) and biceps femoris (BF) muscles. Using chicken embryonic myoblasts (CEM), the interaction between DEX (200 nM) and insulin (100 nM) administration was evaluated on GLUT gene and GLUT-1 protein expressions and 2-deoxy-D-[1, 2-(3)H]-glucose (2-DG) uptake. Myoblasts were incubated with serum-free medium for 3 h in the presence or absence of insulin (0, 0.02, 0.1, 0.5, and 2.5 μM). Although GLUT-1 is not considered an insulin-responsive GLUT in mammals, this study shows that insulin stimulated 2-DG uptake and GLUT-1 mRNA and protein expression in CEM (P < 0.0001), suggesting that both are regulated in chicken skeletal muscle. Dexamethasone inhibited insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in CEM (P < 0.0001), likely accounting for insulin resistance in skeletal muscles. The results of the present study indicate that the altered GLUT-1 gene and protein expression may contribute to the insulin resistance induced by DEX treatment in chicken muscles.
    Journal of Animal Science 08/2012; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A study was conducted to determine whether water-cooled perches would be preferred by commercial broilers exposed to a hot ambient environment, and subsequently, whether utilization of these perches would improve performance and the well-being of birds, beyond those provided by normal perches. Four hundred and thirty-two 14-d-old male chickens from a commercial fast-growing strain (Arbor Acres) were housed in the following conditions: 1) cool perches, 2) normal perches, and 3) control pens with no perches. The results showed that there was greater use of cool perches than normal perches for broiler chickens during summer (F1, 4=125, P=0.0004). Cool perches increased BW gain (F2, 6=5.44, P=0.0449) and breast (F2, 24=3.31, P=0.0539) and thigh muscle yields (F2, 24=6.29, P=0.0063), while decreasing abdominal fat deposition (F2, 24=7.57, P=0.0028), cooking loss (pectoralis major, F2, 24=3.30, P=0.0542; biceps femoris, F2, 24=3.42, P=0.0493), percentage of panting birds (F2, 6=102, P<0.0001), and scores of footpad (F2, 6=122, P<0.0001) and hock (F2, 6=68.2, P<0.0001) burn, and abdominal plumage condition (F2, 6=52.0, P=0.0002), particularly toward the end of the rearing period. In contrast, normal perches hardly affected growth performance, carcass composition, meat quality and behavioral patterns, and appeared to worsen the welfare status, including footpad and hock burns and abdominal plumage condition, due to a lower occupancy rate. Cool perches offer a thermoregulatory and performance advantage to broilers exposed to a hot environment and appear to be a management strategy for improving the production and well-being of commercial broilers.
    Poultry Science 08/2012; 91(8):1775-84. · 1.52 Impact Factor
  • J P Zhao, H C Jiao, Z G Song, H Lin
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    ABSTRACT: In the present study, three experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of oral supplementation of l-arginine (ARG) on the disposal of glucose in stressed-broiler chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus). In all the three experiments, the broiler chickens were randomly subjected to one of the four treatments at the beginning of the experiments: oral administration of saline, glucose (2.0g/kg body weight, BW), l-arginine (0.5g/kg BW) or mixed solution (2.0g glucose+0.5g arginine/kg BW). Immediately after the oral treatment, the experimental chickens were subcutaneously injected with corn oil (Experiment 1), corticosterone (CORT, 4mg/kg BW, Experiment 2) or insulin (1U/kg BW, Experiment 3), respectively. Blood samples were obtained at the beginning (0-h), 0.5-, 1- and 2-h time points after injection and the levels of plasma glucose, urate, nitric oxide (NO) and activity of NO synthase (NOS) were measured. The results showed that plasma NO levels and NOS activity were significantly suppressed while glucose and insulin concentrations were increased by CORT treatment. In contrast, insulin administration improved the circulating level of NO and activity of NOS. ARG supplementation could not improve the circulating levels of NO and NOS activity in CORT-challenged chickens and, in turn, the glucose disposal. The result suggests that NO is involved in insulin-mediated glucose transport in chickens, as well as that in mammals. The reduced circulating level of NO resulted from the suppressed activity of NOS rather than the reduced substrate concentration.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C Toxicology & Pharmacology 08/2009; 150(4):474-80. · 2.71 Impact Factor
  • J P Zhao, H Lin, H C Jiao, Z G Song
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the effects of stress as mimicked by corticosterone (CORT) administration on the uptake of glucose by skeletal muscles (M. fibularis longus) in broiler chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus). The results showed that both chronic (7 d) and short-term (3 h) CORT administration resulted in hyperglycemia and hyperinsulinemia. Plasma level of nitric oxide (NO) and the activity of NO synthase (NOS) were both suppressed by either chronic or acute stress. In vivo CORT treatment could stimulate the in vitro uptake of 2-deoxy-D-[1,2-3H]-glucose (2-DG). Sodium nitroprusside (SNP) administration improved the in vitro uptake of 2-DG in both CORT and control groups. In CORT treatment, however, the stimulating effect of NO on 2-DG uptake was relatively lower compared to control group, whereas it was restored by insulin. Insulin stimulated muscle in vitro 2-DG uptake in either control or CORT group, with the improvement being significantly higher in control chickens. The results indicated that the reduced circulating and muscle level of NO level via the suppression of NOS by corticosterone treatment was involved in the stress-induced insulin resistance. It appears that CORT could suppress the insulin stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, inducing insulin resistance in broiler chickens. We conclude that NO could stimulate glucose transport in chicken skeletal muscle and that the reduced circulating and muscle level of NO is involved in the insulin resistance induced by corticosterone treatment.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part C Toxicology & Pharmacology 12/2008; 149(3):448-54. · 2.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 1. The effects of exogenous corticosterone administration and glucose supplementation on energy intake, lipid metabolism and fat deposition of broiler chickens were investigated. 2. A total of 144 three-d-old male chickens were randomly assigned to one of the following 4 treatments for 7 d: a low energy diet (10.9 MJ ME/kg, 200 g/kg CP) with or without corticosterone (30 mg/kg diet) and drinking water supplemented with glucose (80 g/l) or saccharine (2 g/l, control). 3. Body weight (BW) gain and breast and thigh muscle yields (% body mass) were all significantly decreased by corticosterone treatment. The relative cumulative feed intake (RCFI) and relative ME intake (RMEI), rather than the feed (FI) or ME intake (MEI) were increased by corticosterone administration. Both feed efficiency (FE) and caloric efficiency (CE) were decreased by corticosterone administration. Corticosterone administration had no obvious effect on water consumption. 4. Glucose supplementation had no influence on BW gain and breast and thigh muscle yield (as % of body mass). FI or RCFI was decreased while MEI or RMEI was increased by glucose supplementation. FE was improved by glucose treatment, whereas CE was reduced. 5. Liver weight and abdominal, cervical and thigh fat deposits were all significantly increased by either corticosterone or glucose treatment. 6. Plasma concentrations of glucose, urate, triglyceride, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), very low density lipoprotein and insulin were all significantly increased by corticosterone treatment. Glucose supplementation had no obvious influence on any of the measured plasma parameters except for NEFA, which were significantly increased. 7. Lipoprotein lipase activities in either cervical or abdominal adipose tissues, rather than in thigh fat tissue, were significantly elevated by either glucose or corticosterone treatment.
    British Poultry Science 10/2008; 49(5):625-31. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two trials were conducted to investigate the effect of corticosterone (CORT) on protein metabolism and the amino acid composition in muscle tissues of broiler chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus). In Trial 1, two groups of 30 broiler chickens were subjected to control or CORT treatment (30 mg/kg diet) from 28 to 39 days of age. In Trial 2, three groups of chickens of 28 days of age were randomly subjected to one of the following treatments for 7 days: CORT (30 mg/kg diet), pair-fed (maintaining the same feed intake as CORT treatment) and control treatments. The body mass gain and feed efficiency was significantly decreased by CORT treatment, while the food intake was decreased. The breast and thigh masses (% body mass) were significantly suppressed by CORT treatment, while the abdominal fat and liver masses (%) were obviously increased. The plasma levels of glucose, urate and total amino acid were significantly elevated by CORT treatment. The capacity for protein synthesis, estimated by RNA:protein ratio, were significantly suppressed by CORT in M. pectoralis major and M. biceps femoris. The 3-methylhistidine concentrations were significantly increased in both M. pectoralis major and M. biceps femoris of CORT chickens, compared to control but not the pair-fed chickens. The amino acid composition of M. pectoralis major and M. biceps femoris was not significantly affected by CORT treatment. In conclusion, the arrested growth in skeletal muscles induced by CORT administration has tissue specificity. The CORT treatment retards the growth of skeletal muscle by suppressed protein synthesis and augmented protein catabolism.
    Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A Molecular & Integrative Physiology 06/2007; 147(1):189-95. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Three experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of preslaughter physiological states mimicked by long- or short-term administration of corticosterone (CORT) and dietary energy sources on muscle glycogen contents and meat quality of broiler chickens. In experiment 1, the broilers were fed a high lipid diet (LD) or a normal diet (ND) that differed in carbohydrate (3.8%) and lipid (2.5%) contents from 21 d of age. From 28 d of age onwards, 50% of the chickens in each dietary treatment were subjected to CORT treatment (30 mg/kg of diet). At 7 and 11 d after CORT supplementation, musculus pectoralis major was sampled before and immediately after slaughter and analyzed for glycogen, pH, and R-value. In experiment 2, broilers, fed with the LD or ND diet from 21 d of age were subjected to 1 single s.c. injection of CORT (4 mg/kg of BW) for 3 h to mimicked acute stress at 46 d of age. In experiment 3, broiler chickens were supplied with water supplemented with glucose (30 g/L) for 1 wk before slaughter and were then subjected to the same CORT treatment as experiment 2. Blood and muscle samples were respectively obtained before and immediately after slaughter and analyzed for plasma glucose, urate and lactic acid, and muscle variables. Plasma concentrations of glucose and urate were significantly increased by acute CORT administration, whereas the lactic acid was not changed. Neither dietary energy source nor water glucose supplementation had any influence on the plasma variables. Dietary energy source or water glucose supplementation could not alter glycogen stores in musculus pectoralis major. Breast muscle glycogen stores were increased by stress mimicked by long-term CORT administration rather than by acute treatment. Preslaughter stress reactions had no relation to the depletion of breast muscle glycogen during the initial postmortem period. The initial breast muscle pH was significantly decreased by long-term CORT administration. The result suggests that short-term upregulation of circulating CORT is not involved in the elevated drip loss induced by preslaughter stress.
    Poultry Science 04/2007; 86(3):545-54. · 1.52 Impact Factor