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Dietary l-arginine supplementation attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammatory response in broiler chickens

  • Jianzhuang Tan (a1) (a2), Shasha Liu (a1), Yuming Guo (a1), Todd J. Applegate (a2) and Susan D. Eicher (a3)...

In the present study, two experiments were conducted to investigate the effect of dietary l-arginine (Arg) supplementation on the inflammatory response and innate immunity of broiler chickens. Expt 1 was designed as a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement (n 8 cages/treatment; n 6 birds/cage) with three dietary Arg concentrations (1·05, 1·42 and 1·90 %) and two immune treatments (injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or saline) given at an interval of 48 h between 14 and 21 d of age. In Expt 2, correlation between dietary Arg concentration (0·99, 1·39, 1·76, 2·13 or 2·53 %) and percentage of circulating B cells (percentage of circulating lymphocytes) was determined. In Expt 1, LPS injection decreased body-weight gain and feed intake and increased feed conversion ratio of the challenged broilers (14–21 d; P< 0·05). LPS injection suppressed (P< 0·05) the percentages of splenic CD11+ and B cells (percentages of splenic lymphocytes) and phagocytic activity of splenic heterophils and macrophages; Arg supplementation linearly decreased the percentages of CD11+, CD14+ and B cells in the spleen (P< 0·10). LPS injection increased (P< 0·05) the expression of IL-1β and IL-6 mRNA in the spleen and caecal tonsils. Arginine supplementation decreased (P< 0·05) the expression of IL-1β, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and PPAR-γ mRNA in the spleen and IL-1β, IL-10, TLR4 and NF-κB mRNA in the caecal tonsils. In Expt 2, increasing dietary Arg concentrations linearly and quadratically reduced the percentage of circulating B cells (P< 0·01). Collectively, Arg supplementation attenuated the overexpression of pro-inflammatory cytokines probably through the suppression of the TLR4 pathway and CD14+ cell percentage. Furthermore, excessive Arg supplementation (1·76 %) suppressed the percentages of circulating and splenic B cells.

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* Corresponding authors: Yuming Guo, fax +86 10 6273 3900, email; T. J. Applegate, fax +1 765 494 9346, email
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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
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