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Eitschberger, Oliver; Reese, Sven ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4605-9791; Maierl, Johann; Hofmann, Nicola and Kaspers, Bernd (27. July 2018): Effect of methionine supplementation on local immunity in chicken jejunum. In: European Association of Veterinary Anatomists (ed.) , In: Anatomia, Histologia, Embryologia. Vol. 47. Wiley.

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Introduction: Methionine (Met) is an essential amino acid and usually the first limitation in vegetable-based poultry diets. dl-methionine (DLM) and its metabolic precursor 2-hydroxy- 4- ( methylthio)butyric-acid (HMTBA) are utilized as dietary sources of Met to maximize growth performance. Met supplementation may also affect the local intestinal immune system. The present study compared the effects of DLM-vs HMTBA-supplementation on local jejunal immunity in chickens. Materials and Methods: Eighteen Male Cobb 500 broilers were divided into three treatment groups with six chickens each and fed selected diets from hatching to 35 days. The control group was fed a basal Met-deficient diet and the other two treatment groups received the basal diet plus supplementation with either HMTBA or DLM to achieve 0.4% dietary Met. At 35 days, 1 jejunal sample per chicken was taken. Over a villus length of 500 μm cells positive for CT4, CT8, AV20, and IgA antigens were counted and the IgA staining intensity was evaluated. Results: In comparison with the control chickens, DLM-and HMTBA-fed chickens had increased numbers of cells positive for the markers in the Lamina epithelialis and Lamina propria (Cohen’s d = 0.39–0.75). The comparison of both Met supplemented groups with the Met deficient control showed that the supplemented groups had an increased strength of effect (d = 0.5–1.07). With the exception of IgA+ cells in the Lamina propria and CD4+ cells in the Lamina epithelialis, the DLM group showed more positive cells than the HMTBA group. DLM birds showed significantly more secreted IgA in the gut lumen than the controls (Cramers V = 0.85; r = 0.0028), while HMTBA did not. Conclusion: Met increased the number of immune cells and the IgA-content in the mucus. The number of immune cells seems to be more positively effected by DLM than HMTBA. In Accordance with Article 4 par. 3 of the German Animal Welfare Law all animals were humanely killed for scientific purposes, which was approved by the Animal Welfare Officer of the Justus-Liebig- University, JLU No. 580_M.

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