Effects of conjugated linoleic acid and lutein on the growth performance and immune response of broiler chickens

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The effects of lutein and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) on growth performance and immune response of broiler chickens were evaluated in the presence and absence of Salmonella lipopolysaccharide (LPS) immune challenge. Cobb chicks (360; 1 to 22 d of age) were used in a 3 × 2 factorial arrangement of CLA (0, 1, and 2%) and lutein (0 and 50 mg/kg) dietary levels. At d 8 and 15, birds were injected with BSA to assess IgY production. At d 20, birds were injected with LPS. Samples of liver, spleen, and duodenum were collected at 3 and 16 h post-LPS challenge for RT-qPCR analysis of RXRα, RXRγ, PPARα, PPARγ, TLR-4, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-10, and IL-12 gene expression. CLA decreased BW, BW gain (BWG), and G:F from d 1 to 20, but these effects were reversed when lutein was included in the 1% CLA diet (P < 0.001). The production of IgY anti-BSA increased following a 2% CLA supplementation (P < 0.01). LPS increased the liver:BW ratio at 3 h post-injection (P < 0.001) and decreased BWG at 3, 16, and 40 h (P < 0.001). Lutein decreased plasmatic nitric oxide levels (P < 0.01). LPS downregulated PPARα mRNA in the duodenum (P = 0.02) and liver (P = 0.04), and PPARγ (P = 0.01) and RXRα (P = 0.08) in the spleen; these effects were not reversed by CLA or lutein as initially hypothesized. Although LPS upregulated IL-1β (P = 0.02) and IL-12 (P = 0.07) expression, lutein downregulated these pro-inflammatory cytokines in the liver (P = 0.03 and P = 0.07, respectively). Lutein decreased splenic (P = 0.09) but increased hepatic (P = 0.06) TLR-4 mRNA. A dietary CLA supplementation of 2% increased hepatic RXRα (P = 0.10). In conclusion, CLA decreased broiler chicken growth performance, but lutein could prevent this negative effect (depending on CLA dose). Lutein had an anti-inflammatory effect, and a 2% CLA supplementation improved the humoral immune response.

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