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Influence of dietary vitamin E on phagocytic functions of macrophages in broilers
- Konjufca, V.K., Bottje, W.G., Bersi, T.K., Erf, G.F.
- Poultry science 2004 v.83 no.9 pp. 1530-1534
- broiler chickens, macrophages, vitamin E, vitamin supplements, feed additives, phagocytosis, thymus gland, bursa of Fabricius, animal age, cell adhesion, in vitro studies, opsonins, young animals, immunostimulants, spleen, tissue weight
- Vitamin E (VE) is known for its antioxidant properties and has been shown to modulate immune system functions in various species. This study examined the influence of different levels of dietary VE (a-tocopherol acetate) on phagocytic functions of macrophages (abdominal exudate cells) in broiler chickens at 3, 5, and 7 wk. Birds were fed commercial diets containing 16 (control), 110, or 220 mg of VE/kg of feed. Macrophages were elicited into the abdominal cavity by injecting a 3% Sephadex solution prepared in PBS (G50-50, 1 mL/100 g of BW) 42 h prior to harvest. The percentage of phagocytically active macrophages and the number of SRBC phagocytosed per macrophage for unopsonized and antibody-opsonized SRBC were determined. These aspects of macrophage function were assessed based on 900 macrophages per sample. When unopsonized SRBC were used, dietary VE supplementation above control level did not affect phagocytic function of macrophages at wk 3, 5, or 7. With antibody-opsonized SRBC, the percentage of phagocytically active macrophages and the number of SRBC phagocytosed per macrophage were higher (P = 0.08 and P = 0.01, respectively) in 3-wk-old birds fed 110 and 220 mg of VE/kg of feed compared with age-matched controls. This enhancing effect of VE supplementation on macrophage function was not observed in 5- and 7-wk-old broilers. It appears from this study that supplemental VE enhances Fc-receptor-mediated macrophage phagocytic activity at early stages of broiler growth.