Effect of Dietary Melatonin and L-Tryptophan on Growth Performance and Immune Responses ofBroiler Chicken under Experimental Aflatoxicosis

Document Type: Research Article

Authors

Division of Physiology and Reproduction, Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar, 243122, UP, India

Abstract

The aim of the present work was to determine whether the administration of melatonin or L­-tryptophan (a precursor of melatonin) affects the immune responses and performance of broilers during induced exposure to aflatoxins in feed. The study was conducted from 0-6 weeks comprising six dietary treatments in triplicate with10 chickens in each replicate. The diets were formulated to supply 23% crude protein (CP) and 2800 kcal ME/kg in starter ration and 20% CP and 2900 kcal ME/kg in finisher ration. The experimental diets were offered ad libitum with free access to water throughout the entire experiment. Inclusion of aflatoxin in the feed at 0.5mg/kg feed caused a significant reduction in the growth performance of broilers. Supplementation of melatonin (20mg/kg in feed and 20mg/kg body weight through i.p. route) or its precursor (L-tryptophan at 250 mg/kg feed) in aflatoxin fed broilers resulted in numerically improved performance. Aflatoxin inclusion in the feed also caused a significant reduction in haemagglutination titer against sheep RBC and cell mediated immune responses to phytohemagglutinin (PHA-P) in broilers. Melatonin or L-tryptophan inclusion in toxin incorporated feed significantly improved both humoral and cell mediated immunity. No significant (P>0.05) differences wereobserved among various groups with respect to kidney and spleen weight but liver weight increased significantly (P≤0.05) and weight of bursa significantly decreased upon aflatoxin inclusion. Our study suggests that L-tryptophan was partially as effective as melatonin in alleviating aflatoxin induced growth retardation and immunosuppression in broiler chicken.

Keywords


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