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Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2013 Aug;89(2-3):107-13. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2013.05.006. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Dietary and ontogenic regulation of fatty acid desaturase and elongase expression in broiler chickens.

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Department of Animal Science, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada R3T 2N2.


Effects of diet and ontogeny on the expression of fatty acid desaturases and elongases were examined in broiler chickens. In Study 1, 120 day-old male chicks received one of six diets with LA:ALA ranging from 46:4 to 16:34, for 33 days. Total n-6 PUFA decreased, and n-3 PUFA increased in response to a decrease in the dietary LA:ALA. FADS1, FADS2, ELOVL2 and ELOVL5 mRNAs were highest (P<0.05) in birds fed lower LA:ALA diets. In Study 2, 60 day-old male chicks were fed a basal diet, and liver samples were collected on day of hatch, and on days 2, 7, 14, 21 and 35 post-hatch. Total n-6 and n-3 PUFA increased (P<0.01) from days 7 to days 21. FADS1, FADS2 and ELOVL2 mRNAs generally increased (P<0.01) with age. These findings provide evidence for the dietary and developmental regulation of PUFA metabolism in broiler chickens.


Desaturation; Development; Diet; Elongation; Polyunsaturated fatty acids; Post-hatching

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