Effect of feed supplementation with zinc glycine chelate and zinc sulfate on cytokine and immunoglobulin gene expression profiles in chicken intestinal tissue

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The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of inorganic and organic forms of Zn on the expression of cytokines (IL-2, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-12, IL-17, IL-4, IL-10, and TGF-β) and immunoglobulins (IgA and IgG) in the tissues of the small intestine (jejunum and ileum) of broiler chickens. In the experiment, 90 broiler chickens were divided into 4 experimental groups and a control group, with 18 birds each. The birds received Zn supplements in inorganic form with and without phytase (ZnSO4 and ZnSO4 + F), and in organic form with glycine, with and without phytase (Zn-Gly and Zn-Gly + F). The total rearing period was 42 days. Quantitative real-time (RT)-PCR was used to measure the expression of the cytokines and immunoglobulins. The differences between the results obtained for the control and experimental groups, between the groups receiving ZnSO4 and Zn-Gly, and between groups ZnSO4-F and Zn-Gly-F were analyzed statistically. High relative expression of IL-2 was observed for the chickens in the groups receiving ZnSO4-F, Zn-Gly, and Zn-Gly-F on d 42 in comparison to the control group. High relative expression of TNF-α, IL-12, and IL-17 was noted in the group that received ZnSO4 + F. High expression of IgG, IgA, IL-4, TGF-β, and IL-10 was noted in the groups of chickens that received feed supplemented with Zn-Gly and Zn-Gly + F chelates on d 42 of the study in comparison to the control group. In conclusion, supplementation with Zn-Gly chelates can ensure Th1 and Th2 balance during the immune response in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), and, by increasing IgA and IgG expression, also can stimulate potentiation of the immune response involved in passive protection of the body from infection. In contrast, the use of inorganic forms of Zn, in the form of sulfates, can induce local inflammatory processes in the intestines, which, in the case of long-term supplementation, lead to the development of infections.

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