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Corticosterone Administration Alters Small Intestinal Morphology and Function of Broiler Chickens
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 Title & Authors
Corticosterone Administration Alters Small Intestinal Morphology and Function of Broiler Chickens
Hu, Xiaofei; Guo, Yuming;
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Two experiments were carried out to study the effects of corticosterone (CORT) administration on intestinal morphology and function of broilers. In both experiments, birds were randomly divided into two equal groups. One group was the control group (CTRL), and the birds were fed with a basal diet. The other was the experimental group (CORT), and the birds were fed with the basal diet plus 30 mg of CORT/kg diet. At 21 days of age, performance, morphological characteristics of intestine, D-xylose level in plasma, activities of digestive enzymes in digesta, digestibility of nutrients and 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdUrd)-labeling index of intestinal epithelial cells were determined. CORT administration decreased feed intake, daily gain and feed conversion ratio (p<0.05). CORT also decreased duodenal and jejunal villus height (p<0.05) as well as crypt depth (p<0.05). The D-xylose level in plasma of CORT-treated broilers was lower than that of the control (p<0.05). CORT treatment caused a decrease in apparent digestibility of protein (p<0.05), whereas fat and starch apparent digestibilities were unaffected (p>0.05). CORT administration increased activities of trypsin and amylase (p<0.05), and decreased BrdUrd-labeling index of duodenal and jejunal epithelial cells (p<0.05). In conclusion, CORT administration impaired the normal morphology and absorptive capacity of the small intestine of broiler chickens.
Broiler Chickens;Corticosterone;Morphology;Xylose Absorption;Activities of Digestive Enzymes;
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