Effects of dietary L-isoleucine on laying performance and immunomodulation of laying hens

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Isoleucine may be a limiting amino acid for laying hens fed diets with a lowered protein level. An experiment was conducted to examine laying performance and the immune function of laying hens provided diets varying in digestible isoleucine levels during the peak production period. A total number of 400 Lohmann Brown laying hens, 28 wk of age, were allocated to 5 dietary treatment groups, each of which included 5 replicates of 16 hens per replicate (4 cages / replicate; 80 hens / treatment). L-isoleucine was added to the experimental diet (14% CP) containing synthetic amino (methionine, lysine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine) by zero, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 g/kg, corresponding to 0.54%, 0.64%, 0.74%, 0.84, and 0.94% digestible isoleucine, respectively. At the end of the experiment (wk 40), dietary isoleucine did not affect laying performance or egg quality. Serum albumin concentration increased quadratically (P < 0.05) in response to digestible dietary isoleucine at 0.74%. Serum free isoleucine and lysine increased (P < 0.05) in response to digestible dietary isoleucine at 0.74%. Digestible dietary isoleucine levels did not affect the serum concentrations of total antioxidative capability (T-AOC), total superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH), malondialdehyde (MDA), and CuZn-superoxide dismutase (CuZn-SOD). There was no significant (P > 0.05) response of excess digestible isoleucine level on the serum level of IgG, IgA, or IgM. In addition, dietary isoleucine levels did not affect the concentrations of secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα), or interleukin (IL-2 and IL-6) in the ileum. Also, expressions of ileal MUC2 mRNA, sIgA mRNA, and IL-1β mRNA were not changed (P > 0.05) by excess digestible isoleucine level. Furthermore, excess digestible isoleucine level did not change mRNA expression of ileal tight junction protein (claudin-1 and occludin). No effect occurred when isoleucine was supplemented, suggesting that it is not a limiting amino acid in the low crude protein diet on laying performance and intestinal mucosal immune.

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