The British journal of nutrition

Effects of methionine supplementation on the expression of oxidative stress-related genes in acute heat stress-exposed broilers.

PMID 25614252


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of heat stress (HS) and methionine supplementation on the markers of stress and on the gene expression levels of uncoupling proteins (UCP), betaine-homocysteine methyltransferase (BHMT), cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), glutathione synthetase (GSS) and glutathione peroxidase 7 (GPx7). Broilers from 1 to 21xa0d and from 22 to 42xa0d of age were divided into three treatment groups related to methionine supplementation: without methionine supplementation (MD); recommended level of methionine supplementation (DL1); excess methionine supplementation (DL2). The broilers were either kept at a comfortable thermal temperature or exposed to HS (38°C for 24xa0h). During the starter period, we observed the effects of the interaction between diet and environment on the gene expression levels of UCP, BHMT and GSS. Higher gene expression levels of UCP and BHMT were observed in broilers that were maintained at thermal comfort conditions and received the MD diet. HS broilers fed the DL1 and DL2 diets had the highest expression level of GSS. The expression levels of the CBS and GPx7 genes were influenced by both the environment and methionine supplementation. During the grower period, the gene expression levels of BHMT, CBS, GSS and GPx7 were affected by the dietxa0×xa0environment interaction. A higher expression level of BHMT was observed in broilers maintained at thermal comfort conditions and on the MD diet. HS induced higher expression levels of CBS, GSS and GPx7 in broilers that received the DL1 and DL2 diets. The present results suggest that under HS conditions, methionine supplementation could mitigate the effects of stress, since methionine contributed to the increased expression levels of genes related to antioxidant activity.

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DL-Homocysteine, analytical standard