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Poult Sci. 1991 Jan;70(1):120-5.

Metabolism of narasin in chickens and Japanese quail.

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  • 1Department of Animal Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546-02.


Thirty mature chicken hens and 60 mature Japanese quail hens were used to compare pathways of narasin excretion. Carbon-14-labeled narasin was injected into chickens (.7 microCi) and quail (.113 microCi) via cardiac puncture. Blood, sampled at varying times thereafter, and eggs and excreta collected daily for 28 days, were analyzed for 14C. Groups of six chickens and 12 quail were killed prior to [14C]narasin injection and on Days 1, 7, 14, and 28 postinjection to obtain tissue samples for 14C analysis. Blood rapidly cleared the label in both species. Less than 1% of the dose of [14C]narasin remained in blood plasma after 3 h postinjection in both chickens and quail. Label excretion peaked on Day 1 in both species, and most of the 14C was cleared via the excreta (76.7 and 93.6% of the dose for quail and chickens, respectively). Label appeared in the excreta more rapidly and cleared more quickly in quail than in chickens. After 24 h, 68 and 49% of the dose of [14C]narasin appeared in the excreta of quail and chickens, respectively. More label was recovered in the eggs of quail (4.18% of the dose) than in the eggs of chickens (1.32% of the dose). Liver, heart, fat, and ovarian tissues contained traces of radioactivity 1 day postinjection in both species. Muscle and kidney did not contain detectable amounts of label. By Day 7, all tissue had cleared 14C beyond detectable limits. The results indicate that chickens and quail metabolize [14C]narasin via similar pathways and that excretion in quail may be more rapid than in chickens.

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