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ARS Home » Midwest Area » West Lafayette, Indiana » Livestock Behavior Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352383

Research Project: Protecting the Welfare of Food Producing Animals

Location: Livestock Behavior Research

Title: Bacillus subtilis based probiotic improved bone mass and altered brain serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems in broiler chickens

item YAN, FEIFEI - Zhejiang A & F University
item WANG, WEICHAO - Purdue University
item Cheng, Heng-Wei

Submitted to: Journal of Functional Foods
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/16/2018
Publication Date: 9/22/2018
Citation: Yan, F., Wang, W., Cheng, H. 2018. Bacillus subtilis based probiotic improved bone mass and altered brain serotoninergic and dopaminergic systems in broiler chickens. Journal of Functional Foods.

Interpretive Summary: Skeletal disorder has been recognized as a critical issue impairing mobility, production, and well-being of farm animals including poultry. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of dietary supplementation of probiotics on broiler bone health. Results showed that the dietary probiotic supplementation improves the bone mineralization and health via regulating serotonin synthesis and immunity. This information can be used by poultry producers to develop a management strategy for improving chicken health and welfare.

Technical Abstract: Probiotics have been revealed to promote skeletal health in humans and animals, while the possible mode of these actions remains unclear. We assessed the effects of dietary supplementation of a Bacillus subtilis based probiotic on broiler bone health. Broilers were assigned to 1 of 2 diet treatments (n=12): a regular diet or the regular diet mixed with the probiotic supplement. The feeding program was initiated on chicks at 1 day of age. At day 43, probiotic fed broilers had greater bone mineralization, wall thickness, size, and weight of tibias and femurs compared to the controls (P < 0.05). Probiotic fed broilers also had higher serum calcium levels at 14 days of age (P = 0.05) and a trend of lower serum c-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen levels (P = 0.08), a bone resorption indicator, at 43 days of age. The level of serotonin was increased in the raphe nuclei, whereas the concentrations of norepinephrine and dopamine were decreased in the hypothalamus of broilers fed probiotic at 43 days of age (P = 0.04, 0.03 and 0.02). There were no probiotic feeding effects on plasma concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6, interferon-', and tumor necrosis factor-a), anti-inflammatory cytokine (interleukin-10), serotonin, tryptophan, and corticosterone as well as latency to lie test (P > 0.05). These results indicate that dietary supplementation of the Bacillus subtilis based probiotic improves broiler bone traits, most likely through increased intestinal calcium absorption and reduced bone resorption by inhibiting sympathetic activity via the central serotonergic system.