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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374676

Research Project: Identification of the Ecological Niches and Development of Intervention Strategies to Reduce Pathogenic Foodborne Pathogens in Poultry

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: Supplementing chestnut tannins in the broiler diet mediate a metabolic phenotype of the ceca

item LEE, ANNAH - Texas A&M University
item DAL PONT, GABRIELA - Texas A&M University
item FARNELL, MORGAN - Texas A&M University
item JARVIS, STEPHANIE - Ion Research, Inc
item BATTAGLIA, MICHELE - Silvateam
item ARSENAULT, RYAN - University Of Delaware
item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/28/2020
Publication Date: 1/1/2021
Publication URL:
Citation: Lee, A., Dal Pont, G., Farnell, M.B., Jarvis, S., Battaglia, M., Arsenault, R.J., Kogut, M.H. 2021. Supplementing chestnut tannins in the broiler diet mediate a metabolic phenotype of the ceca. Poultry Science. 100(1):47-54.

Interpretive Summary: In the past, chicks were given low levels of antibiotics in their feed to help them grow. However, this caused problems with germs becoming resistant to the antibiotics. As a result, research started looking at more 'green' methods to help the chicks grow better and safer. Plant-based products have been given a great deal of attention. In this study, we looked at a chestnut-based product (tannins) and the effect of feeding this product to growing chicks. We found that the chicks grew better than those not fed the tannins. We also found that the tannins increased the chicks’ ability to use the nutrients in their food more efficiently, which allowed them to grow better. These results are important to the poultry industry, which is under pressure from consumers to find better and safer ways to get poultry to grow.

Technical Abstract: As the demand for alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) increases in food animal production, phytobiotic compounds gain in popularity due to their ability to mimic the desirable bioactive properties of AGPs. Chestnut tannins (ChT) are one of many phytobiotic compounds utilized as feed additives for broiler chickens, particularly in South America, due to their favorable antimicrobial and growth promotion capabilities. While studies have observed the microbiological and immunological effects of ChT, there is a lack of studies evaluating the metabolic function of ChT in the host. Therefore, the objective of this study is to characterize the cecal metabolic changes induced by ChT inclusion and how they relate to growth promotion. A total of 500 day-of-hatch Cobb chicks were separated into five feed treatment groups: control, 1% ChT, 0.2% ChT, 0.08% ChT, and 0.03% ChT. The ceca from all the chicks in the treatment groups were collected on days 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 post-hatch. The cytokine mRNA qRT-PCR was determined using TaqMan gene expression assays for IL-1B, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and IFN-gamma quantification. The cytokine expression showed highly significant increased expressions of IL-6 and IL-10 on days 2 and 6, while the other pro-inflammatory cytokines did not have significantly increased expression. The results from the kinome array demonstrated that the ceca from birds fed with 1% ChT had significant (p < 0.05) metabolic alterations based on the number of peptides, when compared to the control group across all days tested. Based on the results, the increased expression of IL-6 appeared to be strongly indicative of altered metabolism, while the increased expression of IL-10 indicated the regulatory effect against pro-inflammatory cytokines other than IL-6. The ChTs initiate a metabolic mechanism during the first ten days in the broiler. For the first time, we show that a phytobiotic product initially modulates metabolism rather than immunity while also potentially supporting growth and feed efficiency downstream. In conclusion, an IL-6 mediated immunometabolic phenotypic alteration in the ceca of chickens fed ChT may indicate the importance of the gut to enhance broiler health.