The effect of sexual maturity and egg production on skeletal muscle (pectoralis major and gastrocnemius) protein turnover in broiler breeder pure lines

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Abstract

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of sexual maturity on pectoralis major and gastrocnemius muscle protein turnover in broiler breeder pure lines. Protein turnover in skeletal muscle tissue was determined in 4 broiler breeder pure lines (Line A, Line B, Line C and Line D) at 22, 27, 33, 37, 44, and 50 wk of age. A completely randomized design with a factorial arrangement 4 × 6 (4 lines and 6 time periods (ages)) was used. There were 5 replicates per line/time and each hen represented a replicate. Five hens/line at each age were given an intravenous flooding-dose of 15N-phenylalanine (150 mM, 40 atom percent excess (APE) at a dose of 10 mL/kg. After 10 min, birds were euthanized using CO2 asphyxiation and the breast and leg muscle excised and snap frozen in liquid nitrogen for protein turnover analysis. Excreta was collected from each breeder for 3-methyl histidine (3-MH) analysis. There was a significant age effect for the breast muscle fractional synthesis rate (FSR), but no main effects (age and line) for leg muscle FSR. The FSR in breast muscle tissue decreased in hens from wk 22 (first egg) to wk 33 (peak egg production). There was a significant age effect on fractional breakdown rate (FBR) in breast and leg muscle. The FBR in breast muscle increased in hens from wk 22 to wk 33 and remained high through wk 37. Breast muscle FBR significantly decreased in hens from wk 37 to wk 50. The FBR in leg muscle tissue increased in hens from wk 33 to wk 37 and then decreased at wk 50. No line effect was seen for FSR or FBR. There is a large increase in skeletal muscle FBR during the transition for the pullet to sexual maturity with increases in skeletal muscle FBR in the breast and leg muscle through peak egg production. Protein turnover in skeletal muscle tissue is believed to be a source of nutrients for egg production.

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