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Carry-over effects of dietary yeast RNA as a source of nucleotides on lymphoid organs and immune responses in Leghorn-type chickens.

Author(s): Deng K, Wong CW, Nolan JV

Affiliation(s): Animal Science School of Rural Science and Agriculture, University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia. kdeng@jsu.edu.cn

Publication date & source: 2005-12, Br Poult Sci., 46(6):673-8.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

1. The carry-over effects of supplementing Leghorn-type chickens with yeast RNA as a dietary source of nucleotides for 4 weeks on growth, lymphoid organ weights and immune responses were assessed in a 12-week study. 2. A commercial starter feed supplemented with 0 (control), 5 (LR) or 10 (HR) g yeast RNA/kg was offered to 1-d-old male ISA Brown chicks for 4 weeks, and then all birds were given a commercial pullet grower feed for another 8 weeks. Growth performance, antibody responses to sheep red blood cells (SRBC) and cutaneous reactivity of toe webs to phytohaemagglutinin (PHA)-M were measured at 4-week intervals. 3. Growth rates, feed intake and feed efficiency were not affected by dietary yeast RNA during the supplementary period, but birds previously offered the HR diet grew faster than control birds during weeks 4 to 8.4. LR-fed birds had a higher spleen weight relative to body weight (BW) than control birds at week 4, but this effect was not detected at other times. 5. Serum primary antibody levels against SRBC were not affected by dietary yeast RNA at any time. 6. The toe-web PHA response was significantly higher at week 8 in control birds than in birds previously given the LR diet, although no difference among dietary treatments was observed at other times. 7. It is concluded that the addition of yeast RNA as a source of nucleotides to a commercial diet selectively stimulated the development of the spleen in young birds, but this effect did not persist into a later stage of the bird's life.

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