[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Taste has evolved largely as a mechanism to identify nutritious foods and is important for detecting nutritionally relevant carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, salts and toxic compounds. Species differences in the taste system are intimately related to ecological niche and food availability. It has been argued that birds have a lower taste acuity compared to mammals due to their low taste bud numbers. In addition, chickens seem to have fewer taste receptor genes: the sweet taste receptor is missing and their bitter taste receptor repertoire is very small, consisting of only three members. Furthermore, chickens compared to pigs show a lower sensitivity to glucosinolates. However, chickens are able to quickly adapt their feeding behaviour based on taste cues and the ratio of the number of taste buds/oral cavity volume is higher than in most mammals. Compared to ruminants, chickens show higher aversion to glucosinolates and compared to humans a similar avoidance to quinine chloride. Moreover, many birds (including commercial chicken breeds) seem to have high acuity for dietary calcium. Emerging knowledge mostly derived from genome sequencing, shows that birds have a well-developed taste system. Predicted taste genes for umami, sour, salt, bitter, calcium and lipids are present in the chicken, turkey and zebra finch genomes. Preliminary data indicate that the umami taste receptor may be intact in chickens and that the bitter taste receptor repertoire is small in chickens, but in some bird species it is as large as in mammals. Some of the novel findings outlined in the review have the potential to bring important innovations to the practice of poultry nutrition such as reduction in phosphorus excretion, optimize the use of amino acids and fats, use of alternative feedstuffs or the short and long term manipulation of feed intake. In conclusion, the avian taste system is well developed but differs significantly with different species. Behavioural and genetic evidence show that birds have an accurate capacity to detect different taste modalities challenging the broad consensus that birds have lower taste acuity than mammals. Finally, avian taste is intimately related to nutrient sensing and, consequently, to poultry nutrition practices.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immune response is thought to be costly and deters from growth and reproduction, but the magnitude and sources of these costs are unknown. Thus, we quantified the changes in mass of leukocytes (CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, Bu1(+) IgM(+) and Bu1(+) IgG(+) B cells, monocytes/macrophages, heterophils and thrombocytes) and protective plasma proteins in systemic (non-mucosal) components of adult chickens injected intravenously with dead E. coli. During the first day after E. coli injection most types of blood leukocytes decreased and α-1-acid glycoprotein increased. Specific IgM, specific IgY, total IgM, Bu1(+) lymphocytes in the spleen and bone marrow and thymic CD8(+) lymphocytes increased at 5d post-injection. Quantitatively, the increases in the weight of cells and antibodies due to E. coli were dwarfed by the increase in the weight of the liver and acute phase proteins. Thus the acute phase response was markedly more costly than the subsequent adaptive response. The weight of the cells and proteins of the systemic immune system prior to challenge was 0.14% of body weight. Following E. coli injection, the additional weight of the immune components and the hypertrophy of the liver resulted in a 3.6-fold increase in weight which is equivalent to 18.5% of a large egg.
Developmental and comparative immunology 03/2013; · 3.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether supplementing retinyl palmitate (RP) to vitamin A-deficient or -adequate chicks during vaccination increased the antibody response, an experiment was conducted that used a 2-generational model. White Leghorn chicks were hatched from eggs that contained 1.06 ± 0.13, 1.41 ± 0.14, or 1.90 ± 0.13 μg of retinol/g of egg yolk. Upon hatch, chicks were allotted to a diet that contained 70, 100, or 130% of the vitamin A requirement (1,500 IU/kg). At 14 d of age, chicks were challenged with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH), Freund's incomplete adjuvant (FIA), KLH and FIA, KLH and RP administered in the same injection, or KLH and RP administered at different injection sites. The RP dosage was 7,000 IU/kg of BW, and dosage of the KLH was 1 mg/kg of BW. Chicks were bled and rechallenged at 19 d of age, and a final blood draw was taken at 29 d of age. The IgM and IgG antibody responses to KLH were determined by ELISA, and agglutination was used to determine natural antibody titers. When compared with chicks fed diets that contained 70 and 100% of the vitamin A requirement, the chicks fed 130% of the vitamin A requirement had a lower primary IgM and IgG antibody response (P < 0.02) and the secondary IgG response was significantly lower (P = 0.004). However, administering RP together or separate from KLH did not significantly change the secondary IgM or IgG responses compared with chicks challenged with KLH and FIA (P < 0.01). Moreover, natural antibody titers were not different among dietary treatments (P = 0.91). In conclusion, administration of RP with KLH did not improve antibody response in chicks.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: These trials examined whether the demonstrated effects of embryonic and dietary carotenoid exposure on the inflammatory immune response in fast growing chickens also occur in slow growing chickens. The systemic and local inflammatory responses of chicks were examined in two experiments with two in ovo lutein levels (C+, carotenoid replete; or C-, carotenoid-deplete), two dietary lutein levels (0 or 40 mg lutein/kg diet), and two inflammatory challenges [no exposure or lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-vaccinated]. At 24 h after LPS vaccination, spleen weight was not affected by diet or in ovo lutein, but liver weight increased from C+ eggs (p < 0.01), and in LPS-vaccinated chicks fed 0 mg lutein (p < 0.05), but not in chicks fed 40 mg lutein. Plasma carotenoids and liver carotenoids were reduced post-LPS (p < 0.05). Splenic IL-6 mRNA abundance was the greatest post-LPS in C- chicks fed 40 mg lutein vs. C+ chicks fed 40 mg lutein (p < 0.05). Hepatic IL-6, iNOS and TGFβ and splenic iNOS and TGFβ were not affected by in ovo or dietary lutein. The systemic and local inflammatory results are similar to those observed in fast growing chickens, and support that lutein-depleted birds have greater inflammatory responses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Broilers are typically raised commercially in dim lighting. It has been suggested that providing brighter light intensity could improve health and provide opportunities for more normal behavioral rhythms. We examined the effects of 3 photophase light intensities (5, 50, and 200 lx) on activity patterns, immune function, and eye and leg condition of broilers (n = 753; 6 replicate pens/treatment). Broilers were reared with one of these intensities from 1 to 6 wk of age; photoperiod consisted of 16L:8D with 1 lx intensity during the scotophase. Broilers reared with 5 lx were less active (P = 0.023) during the day than 50 or 200 lx and showed less (P < 0.0001) change in activity between day and night than 50 or 200 lx. There was no difference between treatments for final BW (2.30 +/- 0.02 kg) or for most immune parameters (IgG primary and secondary responses to keyhole limpet hemocyanin, B and T lymphocyte proliferation, plasma lysozyme, haptoglobin, NO, whole blood killing of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus), but there was a trend (P = 0.072) for a greater IgM response in 50 lx (6.21 titer) than 5 lx (5.78 titer), with 200 lx (5.92 titer) intermediate. There was no effect of light intensity on back-to-front (1.13 +/- 0.01 cm) or side-to-side (1.48 +/- 0.01 cm) diameter of the eyes or on corneal radii (0.82 +/- 0.01 cm), but 5 lx (2.33 +/- 0.07 g) had heavier eyes (P = 0.002) than 50 lx (2.09 +/- 0.04 g) or 200 lx (2.11 +/- 0.04 g). There were no differences in gait score, although 200 lx broilers had more hock and footpad bruising (P = 0.038) but fewer erosions (P = 0.006) than 5 or 50 lx. Increased daylight intensity had little effect on broiler health but resulted in more pronounced behavioral rhythms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 1. It has been suggested that immune defences are shaped by life history and ecology, but few general patterns have been described across species. We hypothesized that 'fast' life-history traits (e.g. short development times, large clutch sizes) would be associated with developmentally inexpensive immune defences, minimizing the resource demands of young animals' immune systems during periods of rapid growth. Conversely, 'slow' life histories should be associated with well developed antibody-mediated defences, which are developmentally costly. 2. We therefore predicted that 'fast-living' species would exhibit higher levels of complement proteins, a component of non-specific innate defence, but lower levels of constitutive ('natural') antibodies. Additionally, we predicted that constitutive immune defences in general would be higher in species with ecological characteristics that might increase exposure to pathogens, such as open nests, omnivorous diets, gregariousness, and closed forested habitat. 3. Across 70 Neotropical bird species, we found a strongly positive relationship between incubation period and natural antibody levels in adult birds, suggesting that longer developmental times might allow the production of a more diverse and/or more reactive adaptive immune system. Complement activity was positively, although weakly, correlated with clutch size, providing some support for the hypothesis that faster-living species rely more on innate defences, such as complement. Unexpectedly, solitary species had higher natural antibody titres than species that frequently join flocks. 4. Our results suggest that, despite probably widespread differences in the intensity and diversity of pathogen exposure, species-level variation in constitutive immune defences is understandable within the context of life-history theory.
Journal of Animal Ecology 04/2008; 77(2):356-63. · 4.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 1. Infectious diseases reduce productivity and diminish animal welfare. 2. Appropriate nutrition may aid in minimising the incidence of diseases by enhancing immunity. 3. An understanding of the pressures imposed by evolution that underlie poultry nutrition as well as those which underlie immunity provides focus to the field of nutritional immunology. Additional understanding is provided by knowing the specific cellular mechanisms by which diet affects immunity, and how these mechanisms pertain to specific nutrients and pathogens. 4. These approaches indicate that higher inclusion rates of all nutrients are not always better and that the traditional ideas of adding a surfeit of specific nutrients to improve immunity does not usually serve us well. 5. Understanding the nuances of nutrition and immunity is important for optimising bird health and productivity, and will be an important contributor towards fulfilling the consumer's conflicting demands for more natural production and better animal welfare.
British Poultry Science 11/2007; 48(5):525-37. · 1.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary 1. Measurements of phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-induced tissue swelling are arguably the most popular surrogates for immunocompetence in wild birds. It is largely unresolved, however, whether the basic assumption underlying these measures is valid, particularly whether more swelling represents a 'better' or 'stronger' cell-mediated immune response. 2. In this study we took a first step towards such validation by characterizing immune cell infiltration over time into the wing-webs (patagia) of PHA-challenged House Sparrows ( Passer domesticus ). Relative to saline-injected wing-webs, PHA-injected wing- webs displayed intensive infiltration of many immune cell types, including basophils, eosinophils, heterophils, lymphocytes, macrophages and thrombocytes. The abundance of most of these cell types changed over the course of the swelling response (6-48 h post- injection). Peak infiltration time varied depending on cell type. At several time points, significant correlations between the numbers of some cell types (particularly heterophils) and the degree of swelling were detected. 3. Together, these data indicate that PHA-induced swelling is related to heightened immune cell activity in House Sparrows, but also that the PHA swelling response in this species is dynamic and involves both innate and adaptive components of the immune system. We thus caution against interpreting larger swellings as 'greater cell-mediated immunocompetence', given the complex nature of this immune response.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two experiments were conducted to study the interaction between dietary lutein and fat levels in broiler chicks hatched from lutein depleted (Experiment I) and repleted (Experiment II) eggs. In both experiments, a 2 x 3 factorial arrangement of treatments resulted in six dietary treatments (fat at 3% and 6% and lutein at 0, 25 and 50 mg/kg feed) that were fed for 23 days to 18 birds per treatment (in three replications). In Experiment I, the anti-dinitrophenyl-keyhole-lympet-hemocyanin (anti-DNP-KLM) serum antibody response at day 22 and macrophage phagocytotic index at day 17 did not differ among treatment groups (p > 0.05). The concavalin A and phytohaemagglutinin-P lymphocyte proliferation index at day 19 was greater in birds fed 50 mg of lutein and 3% fat than in birds fed all other diets (p < 0.05). Independent of the level of dietary fat, dietary lutein increased macrophage (day 23) nitrite production measured 46 h after in vitro stimulation with LPS (p < 0.05). Among the birds fed lutein at 25 or 50 mg/kg feed, birds fed 3% fat had higher LPS-induced nitrite production compared to the birds fed 6% fat after 46 (p = 0.014) or 70 h (p < 0.001). In Experiment II, macrophage nitrite production was measured at 54 h after LPS stimulation on days 11, 15, 19 and 23. An interaction between dietary lutein and fat levels on nitrite production was observed on day 19 (p = 0.012), where macrophages from birds fed 0 mg lutein and 3% fat had the highest nitrite production (p = 0.012). Macrophages from birds fed lutein at 25 and 50 mg/kg diet and 3% fat had higher (p = 0.012) nitrite production than birds fed 6% fat. Thus, in birds hatched from lutein deplete and replete eggs, modulation of macrophage nitrite production by lutein is dependent on the level of dietary fat.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The experiments examined the physiological response of growing cockatiel chicks to varying levels of dietary vitamin A (VA) or beta-carotene and the rate of liver VA uptake. Adult cockatiels breeding pairs (n=10 pairs) were fed a VA-deficient diet for approximately 90 days prior to onset of egg laying. Breeding pairs were then allowed to feed their chicks diets containing either 0 IU VA/kg, 4000 IU VA/kg, or 2.4 mg beta-carotene/kg. After 5 weeks, chicks fed 0 IU VA developed poor feathering, facial dermatitis and reduced body weight (p<0.05). Liver VA was higher in chicks fed 4,000 IU VA or 2.4 mg beta-carotene vs. those fed 0 IU VA (p<0.05). Duodenal beta-actin and 15,15'-dioxygenase mRNA expression was similar to that of growing chickens, and greatest for cockatiel chicks fed 0 IU VA (p<0.01). Chicks fed 0 IU VA had keratinization of the bursa and oral mucosa, and reduced bursa development and lymphocyte density (p<0.05). Finally, when chicks fed 0 IU VA were orally gavaged with 20 IU VA/g body weight, maximal liver retinol uptake occurred between 0 and 24 h and reached a plateau at 36 h. These data demonstrate that VA deficiency can be prevented with 4,000 IU VA/kg diet or 2.4 mg beta-carotene/kg diet, although beta-carotene conversion to VA may be lower in cockatiels than chickens.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To quantify the effects of an acute phase response in broilers, chicks were injected with 1 mg/kg Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at 15 and 23 d. Lipopolysaccharide injection increased feed/gain (P = 0.03), increased liver weight (P = 0.09), and decreased tibia calcium (P = 0.05) and breaking strength (P < 0.04) by d 28. In a second experiment, 3 d postinjection of chicks at d 31, LPS decreased BW (P < 0.01), breast weight (P = 0.08), and tibia breaking strength (P = 0.05), and increased liver weight (P < 0.01), mortality (P = 0.05), and titers to bronchitis and Mycoplasma gallisepticum that were induced by vaccination at hatch or by field exposure, respectively (P = 0.04). For experiment 3, chicks were challenged with LPS at 23d and 27d. Lipopolysaccharide-injected chicks had decreased BW (P = 0.06), feed consumption (P = 0.05), tibia weight (P< 0.01), and breaking strength (P < 0.01), and increased feed/gain (P < 0.01), liver weight (P < 0.01), and plasma ionized calcium level (P = 0.08). For experiment 4, chicks were injected with 0, 0.33, 0.66, 1.00, or 4.25 mg of LPS/kg of BW. There was an inverse relationship between LPS level and BW or bone breaking strength. Experiment 5 compared 4 broiler strains. Strain x LPS interactions were found for bone breaking strength (P = 0.01). Mortality before LPS challenge was inversely correlated to liver weight (r2 = 0.95, P = 0.02) and bone breaking strength (r2 = 0.99, P = 0.01) only after an LPS challenge.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary Audience: Poultry Nutritionists SUMMARY Although a variety of scholarly papers and books classify chickens and turkeys as granivores, they are omnivores and do not have the food preferences, digestive anatomy, or nutritional strategies that would classify them as granivores. Their wild relatives consume a very wide variety of food items of both plant and animal origin, and seeds are not often a primary component. Intake of insects by jungle fowl chicks and wild turkey poults exceeds 50% of their diet, and adult females increase their intake of insects at the time of reproduction. In the case of jungle fowl, termites and bamboo mast are preferred foods in the area of Southeast Asia where domestication likely occurred. The nutritional strategy of omnivores is a composite of that of faunivores, frugivores, granivores, and herbivores. Appreciating the nutritional strategy of birds that eat diverse types of foods illuminates the potential capabilities and limitations of generalists, like chickens and turkeys. The marriage of comparative genomics with comparative nutrition is likely to be fertile ground for future advancements in applied poultry nutrition.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Grains produced by low-phytate barley and corn isolines homozygous for each species' respective low phytic acid 1-1 allele were compared to grain produced by near-isogenic normal or wild-type barley and corn in broiler chick feeds. Cobb x Cobb (384) chicks were used in a 10-d study. A randomized complete block design with a factorial arrangement of 2 x 2 x 3 was used with 4 replicates (8 chicks / replicate) per treatment. Twelve isocaloric and isonitrogenous treatment diets were formulated to contain 2 types of grain (barley and corn), 2 levels of grain (40% and 60%), and 3 sources of available P (wild-type grain, wild-type P-supplemented grain, and low-phytate grain). Growth parameters, bone parameters, total bone mineral, and apparent digestibilities were measured. The mean growth and bone responses were 1) higher for barley diets compared to corn diets, 2) higher for 60% grain inclusion compared to 40%, 3) higher for low-phytate compared to wild-type grains, and 4) not different for low-phytate compared to P-supplemented wild-type grain diets. Chicks fed low-phytate-based diets excreted 33 and 43% less P than chicks fed wild-type and P-supplemented wild-type diets, respectively. Correlations between percentage bone ash, total bone ash, and bone strength indicated a strong relationship and appear to support the use of bone strength analysis as a simpler method than ash content determination as an indication of P status. Feeding low-phytate grains will reduce the need for supplemental P in chick diets.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interactions between nutrition and immunity are diverse and have profound implications on animal growth and productivity. The innate immune system provides protection during the initial stages of infection and is responsible for mediating many of the alterations in nutrient metabolism. The macrophage is the key sensory and regulatory cell of the innate immune system. Their pro-inflammatory cytokines coordinate local immunity to pathogens, yet also act systemically to alter metabolic homeostasis and decrease food intake and growth rate. Altered energy, amino acid, lipid, and mineral metabolism have nutritionally important implications. For example, an innate immune response results in decreased uptake of amino acids by skeletal muscles and a corresponding increase in uptake by the liver and to a lesser extent by leukocytes. The net result is a decrease in amino acid requirements with no change in the efficiency of their use for growth. The shift in the priority of individual tissues for nutrients appears to be accomplished by changes in the types and amounts of their nutrient transporters and storage proteins. Adaptive immune responses result in considerably more subtle changes in nutrient metabolism than innate responses.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previously, we found that 25 to 50 IU/kg of dietary vitamin E (VE) had very different immunoregulatory effects than high VE levels (200 IU/kg), and we hypothesized that this difference was due to different cytokine profiles. Chicks were fed 0, 30, or 200 IU/kg supplemental VE and percentages of CD4+CD8-, CD4-CD8+, CD4+CD8+, and CD4-CD8- lymphocytes, and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ lymphocytes was determined. The expression of chicken splenic interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), myelomonocytic growth factor (MGF), interferon (IFN-gamma), and transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) mRNA was determined by reverse transcription (RT)-PCR after intravenous injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Due to a tendency for increased CD4-CD8+ lymphocytes at 30 IU/kg VE (P=0.072), the CD4+/CD8+ ratio was significantly lower for 30 IU/kg VE compared with 0 IU/kg VE (P=0.041). The VE dose of 200 IU/kg decreased the constitutive (prior to LPS) expression of TGFbeta. The LPS caused an increase in IL-1beta, MGF, and IFNgamma expression at all VE concentrations and had no effect on IL-2 and TGFbeta mRNA expression. Dietary VE decreased MGF mRNA (P=0.049) in a dose-dependent manner but had no effect on the expression of other cytokines. The decreased expression of MGF could explain the immunomodulatory effect of VE in inflammation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maize and soyabean-based diets containing 100g rice bran kg−1, which is high in phytate, were used to determine stability of a phytase preparation to commercial-type pelleting (85°C) and the effect of dietary dicalcium phosphate on losses in enzyme activity due to pelleting. The basal diet was phosphorus deficient (1.6g available phosphorus kg−1) and the addition of 280 FTU of phytase kg−1 improved BWG, FI, and FC. The pelleting process did not affect phytase activity negatively. Additional dicalcium phosphate did not modulate the effect of pelleting on phytase activity. The increment of dietary phosphorus by a standard source (NaHPO4H2O) was effective in increasing bone ash and breaking strength, but was not related to bone elasticity.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Betaine is used by cells to defend against changes in osmolarity. We examined relationships among betaine, osmolarity and coccidiosis. In the first experiment, chicks were fed corn-soy diets containing 0.0, 0.5 or 1.0 g/kg betaine; half were challenged with Eimeria acervulina (Cocci). Cocci decreased weight gain and feed efficiency and increased the osmolarity of the duodenal and jejunal mucosa (P < 0.01). Betaine decreased osmolarity of the duodenum (P < 0.01), especially in Cocci-challenged birds. Cocci increased the thickness (P = 0.04) of and number (P < 0.01) of leukocytes in the duodenal lamina propria especially at high betaine levels (interaction P = 0.05). Villi height was decreased by Cocci (P = 0.05) and this was ameliorated by 1.0 g/kg betaine (interaction P = 0.04). Intraepithelial leukocyte numbers were increased by Cocci (P < 0.01) especially at 0.5 and 1 g/kg betaine. Peritoneal macrophages or peripheral blood heterophils were incubated in media with an osmolarity of 200, 310, 600 or 900 mOsmol and 0.0, 0.1, 0.5 or 1.5 mmol/L betaine (4 x 4 factorial) for 6 h and then E. acervulina were added. In general, phagocytosis and NO release were decreased and interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 release were increased in hyperosmotic media compared with isosmotic media. Betaine (0.1 mmol/L) increased NO release by heterophils (P = 0.04) and tended to increase (P < 0.1) NO release from macrophages. The chemotaxis of monocytes toward chemotactic factors released by heterophils was increased by betaine. Increased chemotaxis of monocytes and NO release by macrophages may explain the decreased intestinal pathology but increased leukocyte numbers that were observed when betaine was fed during a Cocci infection.
Journal of Nutrition 08/2002; 132(8):2274-82. · 4.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fractional rates of liver, muscle, plasma and acute phase portein synthesis were measured in chickens injected with saline or E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Male Single Comb White Leghorns were infused with a primed constant infusion of 15N-L-methionine and 2H5-L-phenylalanine into the portal vein for 2 h. Changes in plasma amino acid enrichment were similar for both amino acids reaching an apparent plateau by the 30 min sampling time. The enrichment of plasma protein-bound amino acid was measurable after 1 h of isotope infusion and increased linearly over 2h. LPS injection decreased free phenylalanine enrichment in the carotid artery (50%), and reduced tissue free methionine enrichment in the liver, pectoralis, and gastrocnemius by 16, 41, and 31% respectively. Isotopic enrichment of phenylalanine in liver protein, plasma protein and hemopexin increased in LPS injected birds relative to control birds. Fractional rates of muscle protein synthesis were not affected by LPS injection, however, liver protein, plasma protein, and hemopexin fractional synthesis rates increased 141, 161 and 266% respectively compared with untreated animals.