Effect of cold and warm white light on selected endocrine and immune parameters of broiler embryos and hatchlings


Drozdova A., Kankova Z., Zeman M. (2020): Effect of cold and warm white light on selected endocrine and immune parameters of broiler embryos and hatchlings. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 65: 431–441.

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Lighting conditions during incubation can influence embryonic development, post-hatching ontogeny and production efficiency. Previous studies revealed that different light colours differently affect pineal melatonin biosynthesis in embryos and postembryonic development of broiler chickens, but physiological mechanisms mediating these effects are not known. Cold and warm white light consists of different wavelengths and therefore the aim of the present study was to explore if these two lights can differently influence the development of circadian melatonin biosynthesis, production of thyroid hormones and corticosterone, concentration of metabolites (glucose, cholesterol and triacylglycerols) as well as expression of two important immune genes, presenilin 1 and avian beta-defensin 1 (AvBD-1). We evaluated these traits in embryos before hatching (456, 460, 465, 468 and 472 h of incubation) and in hatchlings. The rhythmic profile of pineal melatonin with higher concentrations during the dark time was determined in both treatment groups. Melatonin levels increased considerably in hatchlings in comparison with embryos, but we found no difference in rhythm characteristics between groups. We did not identify any daily rhythms in plasma corticosterone and thyroid hormone levels in either studied age and no differences were found between light treatments in concentrations of thyroid hormones, corticosterone, metabolites and expression of presenilin and AvBD-1. The expected developmental increase of thyroid hormones was proved. Gene expression of presenilin increased in the duodenum of hatchlings in comparison with embryos, but the expression did not change in the bursa of Fabricius. On the other hand, expression of AvBD-1 decreased in hatchlings compared to embryos in both tissues. Based on these results, we can conclude that the colour temperature of white light did not influence endocrine and immune parameters determined in this study and probably monochromatic rather than polychromatic light should be used to influence embryonic development and postembryonic ontogeny of broiler chickens.

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