Effects of folic acid supplementation to basal diets of broilers on growth performance, slaughter performance, IGF2 gene expression and methylation


Li X.L, Zhang Y.J., Jing W.Q., Tang W.Q., Xing J.Y., Zhang Y.Y. (2021): Effects of folic acid supplementation to basal diets of broilers on growth performance, slaughter performance, IGF2 gene expression and methylation. Czech J. Anim. Sci. 66 (2021): 504-512.

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Folic acid (FA) is an important water-soluble vitamin and plays an important role as a cofactor and coenzyme in animal growth and development, and regulation of gene expression and methylation. A total of 270 female broiler chickens (1-day-old) were randomly allotted to three dietary treatments supplemented with 0 mg/kg (control group), 5 mg/kg, and 10 mg/kg FA in basal diets for 42 days, respectively. Each treatment had six replicate cages with 15 birds per cage. Dietary supplementation of 5 mg/kg FA significantly enhanced average body weight and average daily gain of 21-day-old broilers (P < 0.05), but significantly reduced subcutaneous fat thickness and widths of an intermuscular fat band of 42-day-old broilers by dietary FA treatments (P < 0.05). Also, a diet with 10 mg/kg FA supplementation significantly increased the relative heart weight of 42-day-old chickens (P < 0.05). Furthermore, dietary FA supplementation significantly improved the serum insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) concentrations (P < 0.01) and IGF2 mRNA expression in the abdominal fat (P < 0.05), but no statistical differences were found in the methylation of IGF2 promoter (P > 0.05). The present study demonstrated that dietary FA supplementation may have positive effects on chicken growth through increased IGF2 gene expression.


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