Heat stress (HS) dramatically impairs the growth performance of broiler chickens, mainly as a consequence of reduced feed intake due to the loss of appetite. This study was aimed at evaluating the alterations induced by chronic HS conditions on the morphological and morphometric features of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and on the expression of some enteroendocrine cells (EECs) involved in the regulation of feed intake in chickens. Three hundred male chickens (Ross 308) were divided into two experimental groups and raised either in thermoneutral environment for the whole fattening period (0–41 days) (TNT group) or subjected to chronic HS conditions (30 °C for 24 h/day) from 35 to 41 days (HS group). Samples of proventriculus, duodenum, jejunum and cecum were collected from 24 broilers (12/group). Haematoxylin-eosin was used for the morphometric evaluations, while immunohistochemistry was applied for the evaluation of EECs expressing ghrelin (GHR), cholecystokinin (CCK), neuropeptide Y (NPY), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and serotonin (5-HT). In the proventriculus, HS reduced total wall thickness and mucous layer height (P ≤ 0.01) as well as mean diameter, circumference, and area of the compound tubular glands (P ≤ 0.001) with respect to TNT. The small intestine of HS birds was characterised by decreased villous height and total thickness (duodenum, P ≤ 0.01; jejunum, P ≤ 0.001), whereas crypt depth and width were reduced only in the jejunum (P ≤ 0.01). HS had negligible effects on the morphological aspects of the cecum. In the proventriculus, an increase in GHR and NPY EECs was observed in response to HS (P ≤ 0.001). Similarly, the small intestine villi of the HS group showed greater GLP-1 (P ≤ 0.05), 5-HT (P ≤ 0.001) and CCK (P ≤ 0.01) EECs. Moreover, the expression of 5-HT EECs was higher in the duodenal (P ≤ 0.01) and jejunal (P ≤ 0.01) crypts of HS birds, whereas GLP-1 and CCK EECs increased only in jejunal crypts (P ≤ 0.05). Finally, 5-HT EEC expression was increased in the cecum of HS group (P ≤ 0.01). In conclusion, these outcomes demonstrate that chronic HS induces morphometric alterations not only in the small intestine but also in a key organ such as the proventriculus. Furthermore, HS conditions affect the presence and distribution of EECs, suggesting that some GI peptides and biogenic amine may be implicated in the regulation of appetite and voluntary feed intake in heat-stressed broiler chickens.

Effect of chronic heat stress on gastrointestinal histology and expression of feed intake-regulatory hormones in broiler chickens

Mazzoni M.
;
Zampiga M.;Clavenzani P.;Lattanzio G.;Tagliavia C.;Sirri F.
2022

Abstract

Heat stress (HS) dramatically impairs the growth performance of broiler chickens, mainly as a consequence of reduced feed intake due to the loss of appetite. This study was aimed at evaluating the alterations induced by chronic HS conditions on the morphological and morphometric features of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and on the expression of some enteroendocrine cells (EECs) involved in the regulation of feed intake in chickens. Three hundred male chickens (Ross 308) were divided into two experimental groups and raised either in thermoneutral environment for the whole fattening period (0–41 days) (TNT group) or subjected to chronic HS conditions (30 °C for 24 h/day) from 35 to 41 days (HS group). Samples of proventriculus, duodenum, jejunum and cecum were collected from 24 broilers (12/group). Haematoxylin-eosin was used for the morphometric evaluations, while immunohistochemistry was applied for the evaluation of EECs expressing ghrelin (GHR), cholecystokinin (CCK), neuropeptide Y (NPY), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), and serotonin (5-HT). In the proventriculus, HS reduced total wall thickness and mucous layer height (P ≤ 0.01) as well as mean diameter, circumference, and area of the compound tubular glands (P ≤ 0.001) with respect to TNT. The small intestine of HS birds was characterised by decreased villous height and total thickness (duodenum, P ≤ 0.01; jejunum, P ≤ 0.001), whereas crypt depth and width were reduced only in the jejunum (P ≤ 0.01). HS had negligible effects on the morphological aspects of the cecum. In the proventriculus, an increase in GHR and NPY EECs was observed in response to HS (P ≤ 0.001). Similarly, the small intestine villi of the HS group showed greater GLP-1 (P ≤ 0.05), 5-HT (P ≤ 0.001) and CCK (P ≤ 0.01) EECs. Moreover, the expression of 5-HT EECs was higher in the duodenal (P ≤ 0.01) and jejunal (P ≤ 0.01) crypts of HS birds, whereas GLP-1 and CCK EECs increased only in jejunal crypts (P ≤ 0.05). Finally, 5-HT EEC expression was increased in the cecum of HS group (P ≤ 0.01). In conclusion, these outcomes demonstrate that chronic HS induces morphometric alterations not only in the small intestine but also in a key organ such as the proventriculus. Furthermore, HS conditions affect the presence and distribution of EECs, suggesting that some GI peptides and biogenic amine may be implicated in the regulation of appetite and voluntary feed intake in heat-stressed broiler chickens.
Mazzoni M.; Zampiga M.; Clavenzani P.; Lattanzio G.; Tagliavia C.; Sirri F.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/893758
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