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Hu Y.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Hu Y.,Institute of Poultry Science of Jiangsu Province | Zhang R.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Zhang Y.,Nanjing Agricultural University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology | Year: 2012

Background: A leptin-like immunoreactive substance has been found in chicken eggs and has been implicated in serving as a maternal signal to program offspring growth and metabolism. In the present study, we investigated the effects of in ovo leptin administration on hatch weight, serum and hepatic concentrations of metabolites and hormones, as well as on the expression of genes involved in hepatic lipid metabolism and the predicted microRNAs (miRNAs) targeting the affected genes. To this end we injected fertile eggs with either 0.5 μg of recombinant murine leptin or vehicle (PBS) before incubation.Results: Prenatally leptin-exposed chicks showed lower hatch weight, but higher liver weight relative to the body weight, compared to the control group. In ovo leptin treatment increased the hepatic content and serum concentration of leptin in newly hatched chickens. The hepatic contents of triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol (Tch) were decreased, whereas the serum levels of TG, Tch and apolipoprotein B (ApoB) were increased. The hepatic mRNA expression of sterol regulator element binding protein 1 (SREBP-1c), SREBP-2, hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) and cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase 1 (CYP7A1) was significantly up-regulated, as was the protein content of both SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 in hepatic nuclear extracts of leptin-treated chickens. Moreover, out of 12 miRNAs targeting SREBP-1c and/or HMGCR, five were significantly up-regulated in liver of leptin-treated chicks, including gga-miR-200b and gga-miR-429, which target both SREBP-1c and HMGCR.Conclusions: These results suggest that leptin in ovo decreases hatch weight, and modifies hepatic leptin secretion and lipid metabolism in newly hatched broiler chickens, possibly via microRNA-mediated gene regulation. © 2012 Hu et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Liu P.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Hu Y.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Hu Y.,Institute of Poultry Science of Jiangsu Province | Grossmann R.,Institute of Animal Genetics FLI | Zhao R.,Nanjing Agricultural University
Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition | Year: 2013

To evaluate the effect of maternal leptin on muscle growth, we injected 0μg (control, CON), 0.5μg (low leptin dose, LL) or 5.0μg (high leptin dose, HL) of recombinant murine leptin dissolved in 100μl of PBS into the albumen of broiler eggs prior to incubation. The newly hatched chicks were all raised under the same conditions until 21days of age (D21), when body weight was measured and samples of gastrocnemius muscle were collected and weighed. Myosin ATPase staining was applied to identify myofibre types and measure the cross-sectional area (CSA) of myofibres. Real-time PCR was performed to quantify leptin receptor (LEPR), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R), growth hormone receptor (GHR) and myostatin (MSTN) mRNA expression in the gastrocnemius muscle. The activity of calpains (CAPNs) in the gastrocnemius muscle was measured using a quantitative fluorescence detection kit. Male chickens treated with both high and low doses of leptin had significantly higher (p<0.05) body weight on D21. The high leptin significantly increased the CSA (p<0.05) of gastrocnemius muscle in male chickens, which coincided with a 93% increase (p<0.05) in IGF-1 mRNA expression. Likewise, the LL dose increased the weight of gastrocnemius muscle in male chickens (p<0.05), which was accompanied by a 41% down-regulation (p<0.05) of MSTN mRNA expression and a decreased activity of CAPNs. However, all these changes were not observed in female chickens. The proportion of myofibre types did not altered. No significant change was detected for LEPR and GHR mRNA expression. These results indicate that in ovo leptin treatment affects skeletal muscle growth in chickens in a dose-dependent and sex-specific manner. The altered expression of IGF-1, MSTN mRNA and activity of CAPNs in skeletal muscle may be responsible for such effects. © 2012 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Li R.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Li R.,Shanghai Academy of Agricultural science | Hu Y.,Nanjing Agricultural University | Hu Y.,Institute of Poultry Science of Jiangsu Province | And 4 more authors.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - A Molecular and Integrative Physiology | Year: 2011

Hepatic iodothyronine deiodinases (Ds) are involved in the conversion of thyroid hormones (THs) which interacts with growth hormone (GH) to regulate posthatch growth in the chicken. Previous studies suggest that leptin-like immunoreactive substance deposited in the egg may serve as a maternal signal to program posthatch growth. To test the hypothesis that maternal leptin may affect early posthatch growth through modifying hepatic activation of THs, we injected 5.0 μg of recombinant murine leptin into the albumen of breeder eggs before incubation. Furthermore, chicken embryo hepatocytes (CEHs) were treated with leptin in vitro to reveal the direct effect of leptin on expression and activity of Ds. In ovo leptin administration markedly accelerated early posthatch growth, elevated serum levels of total and free triiodothyronine (tT3 and fT3), while that of total thyroxin (tT4) remained unchanged. Hepatic mRNA expression and activity of D1 which converts T4 to T3 or rT3 to T2, were significantly increased in leptin-treated chickens, while those of D3 which converts T3 to T2 or T4 to rT3, were significantly decreased. Moreover, hepatic expression of GHR and IGF-I mRNA was all up-regulated in leptin-treated chickens. Males demonstrated more pronounced responses. A direct effect of leptin on Ds was shown in CEHs cultured in vitro. Expression and activity of D1 were increased, whereas those of D3 were decreased, in leptin-treated cells. These data suggest that in ovo leptin administration improves early posthatch growth, in a gender-specific fashion, probably through improving hepatic activation of THs and up-regulating hepatic expression of GHR and IGF-I. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Li H.F.,Institute of Poultry Science of Jiangsu Province | Hu Y.,Institute of Poultry Science of Jiangsu Province | Hu H.,Huaihua Vocational and Technical College | Song C.,Institute of Poultry Science of Jiangsu Province | And 5 more authors.
Molecular Biology Reports | Year: 2013

Salmonella enteritidis (SE) is a foodborne pathogen that negatively affects both animal and human health. Genetic variations in response to pathogenic SE colonization or to SE vaccination were measured in chicken resource populations. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) is part of a group of evolutionarily conserved pattern recognition receptors involved in the activation of the immune system in response to various pathogens and in the innate defense against infection. In this study, TLR4 was investigated the association of TLR4 gene polymorphisms with Salmonella natural infection situation of birds from two distinct Chinese genetic breeds. One SNP G1894C in the second intron of chicken TLR4 (chTLR4) was scanned in the two hens breed, which showed significant association with Salmonella natural infection situation (P < 0.05). Genetic variations in response to pathogenic SE colonization also existed in distinct Chinese chicken resource population. In this study, mRNA expression of TLR4 was detected to investigate the association with the effect of artificial SE challenge in heterophil granulocytes and spleen of chicks from two distinct Chinese genetic breeds at 1, 3 and 10 day post-infection during the acute infection period. It clearly showed that young chicks' response to SE infection was regulated by TLR4 mRNA expression. The results suggest that genetics, time, gender, and interactions among these factors, play important roles in TLR4 mRNA basic values and copies modulation of SE mediated immune response in distinct Chinese chickens. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


Hu Y.,Institute of Poultry Science of Jiangsu Province | Hu Y.,Jiangsu Electric Power Company | Chen W.W.,Luoyang Pulike Bio engineering Co. | Liu H.X.,Institute of Poultry Science of Jiangsu Province | And 5 more authors.
Avian Pathology | Year: 2016

Chicken Toll-like receptor 15 (ChTLR15) has been shown to participate in immune activation in response to various pathogens and in the innate defence against infection. Two genetically distinct Chinese breeds of chicken (Qinyuan Partridge and Baier breeds) were used to study the correlation between ChTLR15 single nucleotide polymorphisms and the natural infection status of salmonella in hens, and also to examine genetic and sex-specific effects on ChTLR15 mRNA expression in heterophils and spleen during acute infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE) from 1 to 10 days after experimental infection. Three single-nucleotide polymorphisms (G168A, C726T and A1166G) in a single exon of ChTLR15 were identified in the two breeds, but only C726T showed a significant association with salmonella infection. Compared with layer-type Baier chicks, meat-type Qingyuan chicks showed a higher tolerance for capture stress and (SE) infection, as measured, respectively, by the modified body weight of chicks in the control group and in the infection group. Meanwhile, ChTLR15 down-regulation in heterophils and up-regulation in spleen were involved in the response to pathogenic SE colonization during the acute infection period. These significant genetic effects in females led to greater differences in both innate and adaptive immune responses than those exhibited in males. These results suggest that genetics, time and gender play important roles in the modulation of ChTLR15 mRNA level elicited by the SE-mediated immune response differentially in the two genetically distinct breeds, with a focus on sexual dimorphism. © 2016 Houghton Trust Ltd.

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