Propolis supplementation attenuates the negative effects of oxidative stress induced by paraquat injection on productive performance and immune function in turkey poults

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Abstract

Paraquat (PQ) is used as a herbicide in agriculture and causes oxidative and inflammatory damage to animal tissues. The current study was conducted to investigate the positive effects of dietary propolis (PR), as a potent naturally produced antioxidant, on growth performance and immune function of turkey poults exposed to oxidative stress induced by PQ injection. Native male turkey poults (n = 120, 49-d-old) were randomly assigned into 4 groups: poults received a basal diet with a daily subcutaneous PQ injection of 5 mg/kg BW for 7 consecutive days (PQ group), an experimental diet containing 1 g/kg PR with a daily subcutaneous PQ injection for 7 days (PR+PQ group), or received the experimental PR diet with a daily subcutaneous injection of 0.5 mL sterile saline for 7 days (PR group); while the control poults received a basal diet with a daily subcutaneous saline injection for 7 consecutive days (C group). The productive performance in the PQ group showed a significant (P < 0.05) reduction in the weight gain (WG) and feed intake (FI), and impaired feed conversion ratio (FCR). Propolis supplementation in the PR+PQ group significantly ameliorated the PQ effects on WG and FCR. Turkey poults of the PQ and PR+PQ groups had a significant augmentation in the blood malondialdehyde (MDA), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), and corticosterone levels, and in contrast, a significant reduction in the triiodothyronine (T3), when compared to the C group. While propolis significantly reduced the MDA and corticosterone, and increased the T3 levels in the PR+PQ group compared to the PQ group. Furthermore, the dietary PR supplementation significantly limited the PQ-suppressive effects on cell- and humoral-mediated immunity and lymphocyte proliferation of turkey poults. In addition, propolis supplementation in the PR and PR+PQ groups markedly reversed the PQ-induced DNA fragmentation and heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) over-expression in blood cells. It can be concluded that PR could improve turkey immunity and performance, particularly under inflammation and oxidative stress induced by PQ exposure.

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