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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #312569

Research Project: Reducing Animal Stress and the Incidence or Prevalence of Human Pathogens through Enhanced Gastrointestinal Microbial and Immune Functions in Farm Animals

Location: Livestock Behavior Research

Title: Comparative study on the development of intestinal mucin 2, IgA and polymeric Ig receptor expressions between broiler chickens and Pekin ducks

Author
item Zhang, Q - Purdue University
item Eicher, Susan
item Applegate, T - Purdue University

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/23/2014
Publication Date: 2/18/2015
Citation: Zhang, Q., Eicher, S.D., Applegate, T.J. 2015. Comparative study on the development of intestinal mucin 2, IgA and polymeric Ig receptor expressions between broiler chickens and Pekin ducks. Poultry Science. 94(2):172-180. doi: 10.3382/ps/peu064.

Interpretive Summary: The development of three components (mucin2, IgA, and pIgR)that comprise the intestinal mucosal layer were compared pre- and post-hatch for chichens and ducks. Mucin in the intestines performs a barrier function and is a site where secretory IgA (mucosal immunoglobulins) reside, protecting against intestinal pathogens. Mucin was rapidly expressed by both birds immediately after hatching. However, Immunoglobulin A (IgA; the primary antibody at mucosal sites) expression was low during the first week of hatching for both species. After the second week post-hatch, IgA was rapidly expressed in the chickens, arriving at a steady expression in the third week after hatching. However, in ducks, IgA expression during the 2-3 week post-hatch was relatively slow. A molecule, polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR), is necessary for the transport of the IgA into the mucin layer where it becomes active. The expression of pIgR increased greatly after hatching for both species. But expression of pIgR in ducks was delayed compared with that of chickens. The relatively slow and late expression of IgA and pIgR may account for the susceptibility of ducklings to mucosal pathogens at a young age. This work unraveled some of the reasons for different susceptibilities of ducks and chickens following hatching, indicating a need for differing management and vaccination strategies for ducks and chickens.

Technical Abstract: Intestinal mucin2 (MUC2), a major gel-forming mucin, represents a primary barrier component of mucus layers and target site for secretory IgA. Polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR) expressed on the basolateral surface of epithelium, is used to transport polymeric IgA from the lamina propria into luminal mucins to establish the first lines of intestinal defense. To comparatively determine the spatio-temporal expression of MUC2, IgA and pIgR in the broiler chickens and Pekin ducks, intestinal tissues (n=6/age) were dissected from late embryonic days up to 21 days post-hatch. In the intestinal tissues, MUC2 was expressed with a rapid increase at hatching, followed by steady expression through 21 d post-hatch both in chickens and ducks. IgA expression was low during the first wk of hatching for both species. From the second wk post-hatch, IgA was rapidly expressed in the chickens, arriving steady expression in the third wk after hatching. However, in ducks, IgA expression during the 2-3 wk post-hatch was relatively slow. The expression of pIgR was highly increased after hatching for both species. But its expression in ducks was delayed compared with that in chickens. The relatively slow and late expression of IgA and pIgR may account for the susceptibility of ducklings to mucosal pathogens at a young age. In addition, the intestinal pIgR expression was highly correlated with MUC2 and IgA expressions in chickens, but just moderately correlated in ducks. This work unraveled some of the reasons for different susceptibilities of ducks and chickens following hatching, indicating a need for differing management and vaccination strategies for ducks and chickens.