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Poult Sci. 2015 Jun;94(6):1209-19. doi: 10.3382/ps/pev076. Epub 2015 Apr 15.

Effect of in ovo-delivered prebiotics and synbiotics on lymphoid-organs' morphology in chickens.

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Department of Histology and Embryology, and Department of Biostructure and Physiology of Animals, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-375 Wroclaw, Poland
Department of Immunology, Pathophysiology and Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Wroclaw University of Environmental and Life Sciences, 50-375 Wroclaw, Poland.
Department of Animal Biochemistry and Biotechnology, UTP University of Science and Technology, 85-084 Bydgoszcz, Poland.


Prebiotics and probiotics, either alone or together (synbiotics), can influence the intestinal microbiota and modulate the immune response. We aimed to investigate the effects of prebiotic and synbiotic administration during the early stage of development on the histological structures of central (bursa of Fabricius and thymus) and peripheral (spleen) lymphatic organs in broilers. We used 800 hatching eggs from meat-type hens (Ross 308). Prebiotics and synbiotics were administered in ovo into the air chamber of chicken eggs at d 12 incubation, as follows: prebiotic inulin (Pre1), Bi2tos (Pre2), a synbiotic composed of inulin and Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis IBB SL1 (Syn1), a synbiotic composed of Bi2tos and L. lactis subsp. cremoris IBB SC1 (Syn2), or physiological saline (control group, C). In ovo delivery of prebiotics and synbiotics had no adverse effect on the development of the immune system in exposed chickens. Administration of Bi2tos with L. lactis subsp. cremoris (Syn2) decreased the cortex/medulla ratio in the thymus and slowed the development of the cortex in bursal follicles on d 21 posthatching, with consequent impacts on the primary lymphatic organs. The above treatment also stimulated germinal centers' formation in the spleens of 21- and 35-day-old chickens, indicating enhanced B-cell proliferation in secondary lymphatic organs. Syn2 also caused an age-dependent increase in the spleen/bursa of Fabricius ratio. In conclusion, the in ovo administration of pre- and synbiotics at d 12 incubation can modulate the central and peripheral lymphatic organ development in broilers. This effect is more pronounced after synbiotic treatment than in prebiotic-treated groups.


chicken; histology; in ovo; prebiotic; synbiotic

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