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Title: Long-term effects of early-life dietary L-carnitine on lymphoid organs and immune responses in Leghorn-type chickens
Contributor(s): Deng, Kai Dong (author); Wong, Chun Wai (author); Nolan, John Vivian  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1111/j.1439-0396.2005.00569.x
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Abstract: The long-term effects of supplementing Leghorn-type chickens with dietary L-carnitine after hatching for 4 weeks on growth, lymphoid organ weights, humoral and cell-mediated immune responses were assessed in a 12-week study. A commercial starter feed supplemented with 0 (control), 100 (LC) or 1000 (HC) mg L-carnitine/kg was offered to day-old ISA Brown cockerels for 4 weeks, then all birds were given a commercial pullet grower feed for another 8 weeks. No differences (p > 0.05) in growth rates, feed intake or feed utilisation efficiency existed among the dietary treatments throughout the study. Compared with control birds, HC-fed birds had a lower (p < 0.05) thymus weight relative to bodyweight (BW) at Week 4, but a higher (p < 0.05) relative thymus weight at Week 12. A higher (p < 0.05) serum primary antibody response to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) in HC-fed birds than in the other two groups was also detected at Week 12. Relative spleen or bursa weights and cutaneous responses of toe webs to phytohaemagglutimin (PHA) (an in vivo indicator of cell-mediated immune responses) did not differ (p > 0.05) among dietary treatments at any time. It is concluded that a short-term supply of dietary L-carnitine to a conventional commercial feed after hatching enhanced subsequent humoral immunity in Leghorn-type chickens. Further study is warranted to confirm such a long-term effect.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 90(1-2), p. 81-85
Publisher: Blackwell Verlag
Place of Publication: Berlin/Heidelberg, Germany
ISSN: 0931-2439
Field of Research (FOR): 070204 Animal Nutrition
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 830309 Poultry
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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