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Poult Sci. 2018 Jan 1;97(1):140-148. doi: 10.3382/ps/pex272.

In ovo feeding of L-arginine alters energy metabolism in post-hatch broilers.

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College of Animal Science and Technology; Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Animal Origin Food Production and Safety Guarantee; Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center of Meat Production and Processing, Quality and Safety Control, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, P.R. China.
Ginling College, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210097, P.R. China.


This study aimed to investigate the effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of L-arginine (Arg) on energy metabolism in post-hatch broilers. A total of 720 eggs was randomly assigned to 3 treatments: 1) non-injected control group, 2) 0.75% NaCl diluent-injected control group, and 3) 1.0% Arg solution-injected group. At 17.5 d of incubation, 0.6 mL of each solution was injected into the amniotic fluid of each egg of injected groups. After hatching, 80 male chicks were randomly assigned to each treatment group with 8 replicates per group. The results showed that IOF of Arg increased glycogen and glucose concentrations in the liver and pectoral muscle of broilers at hatch (P < 0.05). The plasma glucose and insulin levels were higher in the Arg group than in the non-injected and diluent-injected control groups (P < 0.05). Meanwhile, IOF of Arg enhanced the hepatic glucose-6-phosphatase (G6P) activity at hatch (P < 0.05). There was no difference in hexokinase (HK) or phosphofructokinase (PFK) enzyme activities in the pectoral muscle in all groups. Further, IOF of Arg increased the phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBP) mRNA expressions at hatch (P < 0.05). In addition, broilers in the Arg group had a higher mRNA expression of glycogen synthase and a lower expression of glycogen phosphorylase in the liver and pectoral muscles than in the non-injected controls at hatch (P < 0.05). In conclusion, IOF of Arg solution enhanced liver and pectoral muscle energy reserves at hatch, which might be considered as an effective strategy for regulating early energy metabolism in broilers.


L-arginine; broiler; energy metabolism; glycogen; in ovo feeding

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