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TDK conference 2017

Regulation of the insulin and glucagon pathway through different nutritional factors in broiler chicken
Sebők Csilla - year 4
University of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Physiology and Biochemistry, Division of Biochemistry
Supervisors: Anna Kulcsár, Dr. Patrícia Hatala


Livestock animals, especially broiler chickens play an outstanding role in food production. The biochemical backgrounds of the effects of different nutritional factors on body composition can not be ignored, because the exploration of intracellular pathways could give us a more accurate picture on how these factors affect the health and well-being of animals.

In these trials our goal was to study the effect of normal and lowered crude protein content of diet, the butyrate produced in the large intestines and given as feed additive on the insulin and glucagon signaling pathways in broiler chickens on the level of mRNA and proteins. We measured the expression of mTOR, which is a key member of the insulin signaling pathway and affects growth through stimulating protein synthesis. Besides that, we examined the glucagon receptor, which plays central role in the regulation of carbohydrate metabolism and thus has a main effect on blood glucose level in birds.

Liver samples were taken from Ross 308 broiler chickens at the age of one, three and six weeks. At all ages, maize and wheat based dietary groups were investigated. In the latter diet there is more NSP (non-starch polysaccharide), so it can promote butyrate production in the large intestines. At the age of three weeks more groups were studied: chickens receiving normal and low dietary crude protein content, as well as butyrate-supplemented and butyrate-free control groups. We measured the mRNA level with qRT-PCR, and the proteins with Western blot method.

According to the PCR trials, on the level of mRNA age had a significant effect on the quantity of mTOR in the liver, the highest value was measured at the age of six weeks. Moreover, in the three week group the low protein and the wheat based diet increased the amount of mTOR, but the latter result was not significant. The glucagon receptor showed clearly increased expression at the age of three weeks, caused by low protein and wheat based diet. On the level of proteins the Western blot analysis displayed that the butyrate given as feed additive rised the level of mTOR at the age of three weeks in the liver, and the same is true with wheat based diet. Besides that we can say that the age affected the amount of glucagon receptor proteins, it was the highest at the age of three weeks.

As our results show, different nutritional factors can affect metabolic pathways of broiler chickens through transcription and translation. This knowledge can lead to more appropriate feed composition, hereby improve the health and well-being of livestock animals.

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