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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of Genetic Selection on Immunocompetence in Chicken Lines Selected for High and Low Aggressiveness

Authors
item Chen, Yu - PURDUE UNIVERSITY
item Cheng, Heng Wei
item Eicher, Susan
item Muir, William - PURDUE UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Society for Neuroscience Abstracts and Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 14, 2000
Publication Date: November 4, 2001
Citation: CHEN, Y., CHENG, H., EICHER, S.D., MUIR, W.M. EFFECT OF GENETIC SELECTION ON IMMUNOCOMPETENCE IN CHICKEN LINES SELECTED FOR HIGH AND LOW AGGRESSIVENESS. SOCIETY FOR NEUROSCIENCE. 2001. V. 26. ABSTRACT P. 1181.

Technical Abstract: Genetic selection is a major tool used to improve animal well-being, which modifies animal's morphofunctions and controls domestic behaviors. The present study was designed to investigate effects of genetic selection of chicken for domestic behaviors on immune and hematological responses. Twenty-four chickens from two genetic lines, the 7th generation after 23 years selection, were randomly assigned to individual cages; one line was highly cannibalistic (MBB) while the other was sedate and passive (KGB). Subpopulation of T cells; CD4+, CD8+ and gamma-delta T cells were measured by flow cytometry using FITC labeled antibodies. Concentrations of birds' plasma IgG were quantified using western blot. Hematological parameters were collected from birds' blood smears. Our data revealed that at age 22 weeks, compared to the MBB birds, the KGB birds had higher CD4+ to CD8+ ratio (P<0.01) and higher number of gamma-delta T cells (P<0.05). The MBB birds experienced heterophilia and increased heterophil to lymphocyte ratio (P<0.05). The number of eosinophils was also higher (P<0.05) in the MBB birds. In addition, the concentrations of IgG were not significantly higher in the MBB (P>0.05). Alterations in the immunological parameters in KGB birds are consistent with data from previous studies that showed birds of the KGB line had better adaptation than the MBB birds in response to social, handling and environmental stress. This study indicated genetic selection for domestic behavior alters regulation of birds' immunity, which may play an important role in improvement of birds' behavioral adaptability and well-being.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014