Effects of contact dermatitis on hepatic gene expression in broilers

Sherlock, L., McKeegan, D.E.F. , Cheng, Z., Wathes, C.M. and Wathes, D.C. (2012) Effects of contact dermatitis on hepatic gene expression in broilers. British Poultry Science, 53(4), pp. 439-452. (doi: 10.1080/00071668.2012.707310)

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1. Severe foot and hock dermatitis in broiler chickens can reduce growth rate and increase susceptibility to bacterial infection, affecting both profitability and welfare. However, little is known about the underlying physiological changes associated with foot and hock lesions. 2. This study compared global hepatic gene expression in control birds and those with ammonia-induced foot and hock lesions using Agilent 44 K chicken oligonucleotide microarrays (8 birds per group). 3. In total, 417 genes were differentially expressed of which 174 could be mapped onto the genome. Genes associated with energy metabolism, thyroid hormone activity and cellular control were affected, while there was also evidence of an up-regulation of genes linked to a pro-inflammatory response. 4. It is conceivable that pain is the underlying cause for the observed changes in energy metabolism genes. 5. Changes in hepatic gene expression provide new information on how a chicken's physiological mechanisms alter to cope with foot and hock lesions. The findings support other data indicating that birds with increased severity of lesions are likely to be in pain and that growth will be compromised. Reduction of the incidence of dermatitis by improved husbandry should therefore benefit both welfare and commercial performance.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McKeegan, Dr Dorothy
Authors: Sherlock, L., McKeegan, D.E.F., Cheng, Z., Wathes, C.M., and Wathes, D.C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:British Poultry Science
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1466-1799
Published Online:06 November 2012

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