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Mycotoxin and effects on broiler kidneys

US researchers did a study to measure the gene expression in the kidneys of broilers fed ochratoxin A for different time periods. The study was published in the World Mycotoxin Journal.

Consumption of ochratoxin A (OTA) contaminated diets by broilers results in economic losses to the poultry industry. The consumption of OTA contaminated diets for example results in negative effects on poultry production, such as decreased body weight gain.

The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of dietary OTA (1 and 2 mg/kg) for different lengths of time (7, 14 and 21 days) on performance, relative weights of kidney and liver, and serum biochemistry in broilers, and to analyse the renal transcriptome in order to identify genes that were downregulated or upregulated in chicks fed 1 mg OTA/kg diet for different time periods.

As expected, the inclusion of 2 mg OTA/kg in the diet impaired feed intake, BWG, and feed conversion and increased the relative kidney weight of chicks. The researchers further showed that birds fed 2 mg OTA/kg diet had decreased feed intake and body weight gain, and increased serum uric acid on days 14 and 21. Compared to controls, birds fed 2 mg OTA/kg diet also had poorer feed conversion and increased kidney weights. On day 21, birds fed 1 mg OTA/kg diet had decreased albumin, and aspartate aminotransferase concentrations. Genes associated with carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism were downregulated, and genes associated with the immune system were upregulated at days 7 and 14. Genes associated with lipid metabolism and xenobiotic biodegradation were also downregulated on day 14. These changes disappeared on day 21 suggesting that the kidney and other related organs were repaired or the damage was contained.

In conclusion, decreased performance and increased kidney weight and serum uric acid in birds fed 2 mg OTA/kg confirmed the effects of OTA. Supplementation of 1 mg OTA/kg diet caused time-dependent alterations in renal gene expression in chicks.

Source: World Mycotoxin Journal

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