Effect of in ovo feeding of γ-aminobutyric acid combined with embryonic thermal manipulation on hatchability, growth, and hepatic gene expression in broilers

  • Chris Major, Ncho (Department of Animal Science, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Akshat, Goel (Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Vaishali, Gupta (Division of Applied Life Sciences (BK21 Plus Program), Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Chae-Mi, Jeong (Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Gyeongsang National University) ;
  • Yang-Ho, Choi (Department of Animal Science, Gyeongsang National University)
  • Received : 2022.03.11
  • Accepted : 2022.06.07
  • Published : 2023.02.01


Objective: This study investigated the effects of in ovo feeding of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and embryonic thermal manipulation (ETM) on growth performance, organ indices, plasma biochemical parameters, hepatic antioxidant levels, and expression of lipid metabolism-related genes in broilers. Methods: Two hundred and fifty eggs were assigned to one of four treatments: control eggs incubated under standard conditions (CON); eggs that received an in ovo injection of 10% GABA on day 17.5 of incubation (G10); thermally manipulated eggs between days 10 and 18 of incubation at 39.6°C for 6 h daily (TM); and eggs that received both treatments during incubation (G10+TM). After 28 days of rearing, five birds per treatment were selected for blood and organ sampling. Results: No differences were found in hatchability or growth parameters among different treatment groups. Hepatic gene expression of catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase 1 (GPx1) was upregulated (p = 0.046 and p = 0.006, respectively) in the G10+TM group, while that of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) was upregulated (p = 0.039) in the G10 group. In addition, the relative gene expression of NADPH oxidase 1 (NOX1) was significantly lower (p = 0.007) in all treatment groups than that in the CON group. Hepatic fatty acid synthase (FAS) levels and average daily feed intake (ADFI) of last week showed a positive correlation (r = 0.50, p = 0.038). In contrast, the relative gene expression of the extracellular fatty acid-binding protein (EXFAB) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ) were positively correlated (r = 0.48, p = 0.042 and r = 0.50, p = 0.031) with the overall ADFI of birds. Conclusion: Taken together, the results of this study suggest that the combination of in ovo feeding of GABA and ETM can enhance hepatic antioxidant function in broilers.



The authors are thankful to the Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) and the Brain Pool Program funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT through the National Research Foundation of Korea (2019H1D3A1A01071142).


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