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Poult Sci. 2008 Apr;87(4):645-54. doi: 10.3382/ps.2007-00483.

Intratracheal administration of bacterial lipopolysaccharide elicits pulmonary hypertension in broilers with primed airways.

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  • 1Department of Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701, USA.


Broilers reared under commercial conditions inhale irritant gases and aerosolized particulates contaminated with gram-negative bacteria and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Previous studies demonstrated that i.v. injections of LPS can trigger an increase in the pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP); however, the pulmonary hemodynamic response to aerosolized LPS entering via the most common route, the respiratory tract, had not been evaluated in broilers. In experiment 1, broilers reared on new wood shavings litter in clean environmental chambers either were not pretreated (control group) or were pretreated via aerosol inhalation of substances (food color dyes and propylene glycol) known to sensitize the airways. One day later, the broilers were anesthetized, catheterized to record the PAP, and an intratracheal aerosol spray of LPS (1 mL of 2 mg/mL of LPS) was administered. Broilers in the control group as well as broilers pretreated with aerosolized distilled water or yellow and blue food color dyes did not develop pulmonary hypertension (PH; an increase in PAP) after the intratracheal spray of LPS, whereas broilers that had been pretreated with red food color did develop PH in response to intratracheal LPS. In experiment 2, birds raised under commercial conditions on used wood shavings litter developed PH in response to intratracheal LPS regardless of whether they had been pretreated with aerosolized red food color dye. In experiment 3, broilers reared in clean environmental chambers on new wood shavings litter were used to demonstrate that Red Dye #3 and propylene glycol are capable of priming the responsiveness of the airways to a subsequent intratracheal LPS challenge. Common air contaminants such as LPS can result in PH leading to pulmonary hypertension syndrome (ascites) in broilers with appropriately primed airways.

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