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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #413239

Research Project: Strategies to Reduce Mycotoxin Contamination in Animal Feed and its Effect in Poultry Production Systems

Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research

Title: Beyond protein synthesis: The emerging role of arginine in poultry nutrition and host-microbe interactions

item FATHIMA, SHAHNA - University Of Georgia
item HAKEEM, WALID GHAZI AL - University Of Georgia
item SELVARAJ, RAMESH - University Of Georgia
item Shanmugasundaram, Revathi

Submitted to: Frontiers in Physiology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/6/2023
Publication Date: 1/3/2024
Citation: Fathima, S., Hakeem, W., Selvaraj, R., Shanmugasundaram, R. 2024. Beyond protein synthesis: The emerging role of arginine in poultry nutrition and host-microbe interactions. Frontiers in Physiology. Volume 14 - 2023.

Interpretive Summary: Arginine plays a crucial role in maintaining poultry health. It functions through four key enzymes, impacting various physiological processes. Arginine enhances immune responses in poultry and helps prevent gut diseases. Furthermore, arginine is essential for maintaining gut microbiota in poultry, influencing microbial composition, immune regulation, metabolism, and overall host health. This review provides an in-depth analysis of arginine's multifaceted roles in poultry nutrition and well-being, with a focus on its potential in immune system regulation and microbial balance maintenance. By understanding arginine's contributions, poultry nutritionists can strategically incorporate arginine into feed formulations to improve immune responses and promote microbial balance within the gut. This understanding is particularly valuable for addressing the critical issue of gut diseases in poultry production.

Technical Abstract: Arginine is a functional amino acid essential for various physiological processes in poultry. The dietary essentiality of arginine in poultry stems from the absence of the enzyme carbamoyl phosphate synthase-I. The specific requirement for arginine in poultry varies based on several factors, such as age, dietary factors, and physiological status. Additionally, arginine absorption and utilization are also influenced by the presence of antagonists. However, dietary interventions can mitigate the effect of these factors affecting arginine utilization. In poultry, arginine is utilized by four enzymes, namely inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), arginase, arginine decarboxylase (ADC), and arginine: glycine amidinotransferase (AGAT). The intermediates and products of arginine metabolism by these enzymes mediate the different physiological functions of arginine in poultry. The most studied function of arginine in humans, as well as poultry, is its role in immune response. Arginine exerts immunomodulatory functions primarily through the metabolites NO, ornithine, citrulline, and polyamines, which take part in inflammation or the resolution of inflammation. These properties of arginine potentiate its use as a nutraceutical to prevent the incidence of enteric diseases in poultry. Furthermore, arginine is utilized by the poultry gut microbiota, the metabolites of which might have important implications for gut microbial composition, immune regulation, metabolism, and overall host health. This comprehensive review provides insights into the multifaceted roles of arginine in poultry nutrition and well-being, with particular emphasis on the potential of arginine in immune regulation and microbial homeostasis in poultry.