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  • Author or Editor: Anna Sławińska x
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Objective—To determine immunomodulatory effects of synbiotics administered in ovo on immune-related gene expression in adult chickens.

Animals—30 Green-legged Partridgelike chickens.

Procedures—On incubation day 12, eggs were injected with 3 synbiotics (Lactococcus lactis subsp lactis IBB SL1 with raffinose family oligosaccharides [RFOs; S1], Lactococcus lactis subsp cremoris IBB SC1 with RFOs [S2], and Lactobacillus acidophilus and Streptococcus faecium with lactose [S3]). Control eggs were injected with RFOs prebiotic or saline (0.9% NaCl) solution. Gene expression of 6 cytokines (interleukin [IL]-4, IL-6, IL-12p40, IL-18, interferon [IFN]-β, and IFN-γ) and 1 chemokine (IL-8) was analyzed in the cecal tonsils and spleen of 6-week-old chickens by means of reverse transcription quantitative PCR assays.

Results—Gene expression for IL-4, IL-6, IFN-β, and IL-18 was significantly upregulated in the spleen of chickens in groups S2 and S3. In contrast, IL-12 expression was downregulated in group S2 and IFN-γ expression was downregulated in group S3. Expression of IL-8 did not change in chickens treated with synbiotics in ovo. Gene expression of all cytokines, except for IL-18, was downregulated in cecal tonsils.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In ovo administration of synbiotics activated the immune system in adult chickens. The intestinal immune system (cecal tonsils) had downregulation of expression for the cytokines evaluated, which indicated an increase in oral tolerance, whereas in the peripheral part of the immune system (spleen), expression of IL-4 and IL-6 was upregulated. Evaluation of immune-related gene expression patterns may be useful when monitoring the effectiveness of synbiotic selection with respect to immunobiotic properties.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the effect of in ovo administration of inulin and Lactococcus lactis on immune-related gene expression in broiler chickens.

ANIMALS 45 Ross broilers.

PROCEDURES On day 12 of embryonic development, 360 eggs were equally allocated among 3 treatment groups and injected with 0.2 mL of a solution that contained 1.76 mg of inulin (prebiotic group) or 1.76 mg of inulin enriched with 1,000 CFUs of L lactis subsp lactis 2955 (synbiotic group), or they were injected with 0.2 mL of saline (0.9% NaCl) solution (control). At 1, 14, and 35 days after hatching, 5 male birds from each group were euthanized, and the spleen and cecal tonsils were harvested for determination of interleukin (IL)-4, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12p40, IL-18, cluster of differentiation 80, interferon-β, and interferon-γ expression by means of a reverse transcription quantitative PCR assay. Gene expressions in the cecal tonsils and spleens of chickens in the prebiotic and synbiotic groups were compared with those of control chickens at each tissue collection time.

RESULTS Compared with control birds, immune-related gene expression was downregulated in birds in the prebiotic and synbiotic groups, and the magnitude of that downregulation was more pronounced in the cecal tonsils than in the spleen and increased with age.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that in ovo administration of a prebiotic or synbiotic to broilers was associated with downregulation of immune-related gene expression in the cecal tonsils and spleen. The magnitude of that downregulation increased with age and was most likely caused by stabilization of the gastrointestinal microbiota.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research