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Antioxidant systems of the avian embryo: tissue-specific accumulation and distribution of vitamin E in the turkey embryo during development

Surai, P.F., Sparks, N.H.C., Noble, R.C.
British poultry science 1999 v.40 no.4 pp. 458-466
turkeys, embryogenesis, oxidation, inhibitors, tocopherols, tocotrienols, animal tissues, lipid peroxidation, ova, liver, chemical composition, hatching, yolk sac, developmental stages, embryo (animal), biological resistance
1. Tissue-specific accumulation of tocopherols and tocotrienols in turkey tissues during embryonic development and their susceptibility to lipid peroxidation were investigated. 2. Fertile turkey eggs were incubated using standard commercial conditions. Embryonic tissues were collected at 16, 22, 25 d of incubation and from day-old poults (referred to as day 29) and alpha-; beta- + gamma- and delta-tocopherols and respective tocotrienols were analysed by HPLC. 3. A turkey diet provided to the parent hens contained the complete range of tocopherols and tocotrienols. Between days 16 and 22 of embryo development, the alpha-tocopherol concentration in the liver remained constant and then increased significantly (P < 0.01) reaching a maximum just after hatching. Similar changes were observed for the other tocopherols and tocotrienols. 4. The accumulation of alpha-tocopherol in the yolk sac membrane (YSM) started after day 20 of development and at hatching the alpha-tocopherol concentration in the YSM was twice that of beta- + gamma-tocopherols and 15 times greater than that of alpha-tocotrienol. 5. In the kidney, heart, lung, muscle and adipose tissues a gradual increase in tocopherol and tocotrienol concentrations took place between days 20 and 25 of development with a sharp increase in particular of alpha-tocopherol between days 25 and 29. There was a discrimination between tocopherols and tocotrienols during their assimilation from the diet by the parent hen and during metabolism by the developing turkey embryo. 6. Tissue-specific features in the susceptibility to lipid peroxidation were found with the brain being the most susceptible to lipid peroxidation at day 25 and in day-old poults.