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Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Dec;157(4):374-88. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2010.08.007. Epub 2010 Sep 15.

Effects of early neonatal development and delayed feeding immediately post-hatch on the hepatic lipogenic program in broiler chicks.

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United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Beltsville, MD 20705-2350, USA.


The embryo to neonate transition is a critical period of development that has significant impact on broiler production. During this time important genetic programs governing metabolism and growth are established. The goal of this work was to study the effects of early post-hatch (PH) development and the time of initiation of feeding on activation of the genetic program regulating hepatic lipogenesis. A comparison of liver total RNA samples at hatch and 7 days PH was performed using oligonucleotide-based (Affymetrix GeneChip®) chicken genome microarrays. During the first week PH there was significant up-regulation of key lipogenic genes including: ATP citrate lyase (ACL), malic enzyme (ME), fatty acid synthase (FAS), acetyl-CoA carboxylase alpha (ACCα), stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD-1), sterol regulatory element binding protein-2 (SREBP-2) and thyroid hormone responsive spot 14α (Spot 14α) among others. These findings were confirmed using gene-specific RT-PCR assays. In a follow-up study, we investigated the effects of withholding feed for the first 48 h PH (delayed feeding, DF) on lipogenic gene expression through 8 days PH. Body weight gain was significantly depressed by DF. Plasma levels of the major metabolic hormones that regulate lipogenic gene expression (insulin, glucagon and T(3)) changed significantly during PH development, but were largely unaffected by DF. Plasma glucose was significantly lower in the DF group at 24h PH but recovered thereafter. In general, DF inhibited the up-regulation of lipogenic genes until feeding was initiated. Delayed up-regulation was also observed for the lipogenic transcription factor genes, SREBP-1, SREBP-2 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ), but not for carbohydrate response element binding protein (ChREB) or liver X receptor (LXR). Our results offer additional insight into the transcriptional programming of hepatic lipogenesis in response to the transition from high fat (yolk) to high carbohydrate (feed) nutrition that occurs during early PH development.

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