Submitted to: British Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/2/2012
Publication Date: 5/25/2012
Citation: Lee, S.H., Lillehoj, H.S., Jang, S.I., Lee, K.W., Park, M.S., Bravo, D., Lillehoj, E. 2012. Cinnamaldehyde enhances in vitro parameters of immunity and reduces in vivo infection against avian coccidiosis. British Journal of Nutrition. 106:862-869. Interpretive Summary: Coccidiosis is an economically important disease for commercial poultry production affecting intestinal health. Although prophylactic medication has been effectively used to control coccidiosis, alternative control methods need to be developed due to the emergence of drug resistant coccidia and increasing restriction of antibiotics uses in animal production. In this regard, many medicinal foods and herbal products are being explored as an alternative to drugs for disease control. In this paper, ARS scientists describe a novel dietary immunomodulation strategy to enhance gut health of poultry using a plant extract, cinnamaldehyde (CINN). CINN is a constituent of cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia Presl (Lauraceae)) that is widely used as a flavoring compound and, to a lesser extent, has been traditionally used to treat many human diseases. The results of in vitro and in vivo studies clearly demonstrated that CINN activates host innate immune cells to secrete biologically active effector molecules that enhance protective innate immunity against parasites. When young broiler chickens were fed diets supplemented with various doses of purified CINN, they showed much improved body weights and enhanced disease resistance against coccidiosis. This finding will provide a scientific basis to develop a plant-derived commercial product for control of avian coccidiosis.
Technical Abstract: The effects of cinnamaldehyde (CINN) on in vitro parameters of immunity and in vivo protection against avian coccidiosis were evaluated. In vitro stimulation of chicken spleen lymphocytes with CINN (25-400 ng/ml) induced greater cell proliferation compared with the medium control (P < 0.001). CINN activated cultured macrophages to produce higher levels of nitric oxide at 1.2-5.0 µg/ml (P < 0.001), inhibited the growth of chicken tumor cells at 0.6-2.5 µg/ml (P < 0.001), and reduced the viability of Eimeria tenella parasites at 10 and 100 µg/ml (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001, respectively), compared with media controls. In chickens fed a diet supplemented with 14.4 mg/kg of CINN, the levels of IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-15, and IFN-' transcripts in intestinal lymphocytes were 2- to 47-fold higher (P < 0.001), compared with chickens given a non-supplemented diet. To determine the effect of CINN diets on avian coccidiosis, chickens were fed diets supplemented with 14.4 mg/kg (E. maxima or E. tenella) or 125 mg/kg (E. acervulina) of CINN from hatch for 24 days, and orally infected with 2.0 × 104 sporulated oocysts at 14 days of age. CINN-fed chickens showed 16.5 % and 41.6 % increased body weight gains between 0-9 days post-infection (DPI) with E. acervulina or E. maxima, reduced E. acervulina oocyst shedding between 5-9 DPI, and increased E. tenella-stimulated parasite antibody responses at 9 DPI compared with controls.