Effects of vitamin E and L-arginine on cardiopulmonary function and ascites parameters in broiler chickens reared under subnormal temperatures

A. G. Lorenzoni, C. A. Ruiz-Feria

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29 Scopus citations


Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of arginine (Arg) and vitamin E (VE) on ascites (pulmonary hypertension syndrome) parameters, nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity, and cardiopulmonary performance after an acute challenge with epinephrine (Epi). One-day-old male broilers (n = 100) were fed a commercial corn-soybean meal-based diet meeting NRC (1994) requirements, including 1.2% Arg and 40 IU of VE/kg. In experiment 1, birds were provided tap water (control), water with 0.3% Arg (HArg), water with 400 IU of VE/L (HVE), or a combination of both compounds (Arg-VE). In experiment 2, the treatment groups were similar but the VE was incorporated in the diet (400 IU/kg of feed). At d 18, temperature was reduced to amplify the incidence of pulmonary hypertension. Body weight and hematocrit were recorded weekly. From d 28 to 42, cardiopulmonary performance was evaluated in clinically healthy, anesthetized birds (n = 7 to 8/treatment). A pulmonary artery and a systemic artery were cannulated, the birds were allowed to stabilize for 10 min (basal), an i.v. injection of Epi was applied (1 or 0.5 mg/kg of BW, experiment 1 and 2, respectively), and a second dose was applied 20 min later. Pulmonary arterial pressure (PAP), mean arterial pressure (MAP), and heart rate (HR) were recorded continuously and data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA. The NOS activity was estimated through the conversion of 14C-Arginine to 14C-citrulline in isolated pulmonary arteries. Right/total ventricular weight ratio (RV/TV) was recorded at the end of the experiment. Body weight, RV/TV, and hematocrit values were not significantly affected by the dietary treatments. The PAP increased (P < 0.01) within 30 s after Epi in all treatments, except the HArg treatment in experiment 2. Overall, the time taken for PAP to return to basal levels was longer in the Arg-VE birds and shorter in the HArg birds, particularly after the second challenge. However, although NOS activity was highly variable, birds fed HArg tended to have the lowest NOS activity of all groups. The levels of VE supplementation used in these experiments did not improve cardiopulmonary performance or NOS activity in isolated pulmonary arteries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2241-2250
Number of pages10
JournalPoultry science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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