Heat shock protein 70 mRNA expression and immune response of heat-stressed finishing broilers fed propolis (bee glue) supplementation
- 1Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran
- 2Department of Animal Science, Kashmar Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kashmar, Iran
- 3Young Researchers and Elites Club, Birjand Branch, Islamic Azad University, Birjand, Iran
Abstract. This 2×2 factorial experiment investigated the efficacy of propolis (bee glue; BG) in ameliorating heat-stress-induced impairment of growth performance, the hematological profile, intestinal morphology, and biomarkers of heat stress in broilers. Two hundred and forty 21-day old Ross 308 male broiler chicks were allocated to four experimental treatments in six replicates of 10 birds each. The main factors were composed of diet (basal diet or addition of 3 g kg−1 of BG) and temperature (thermoneutral or heat stress). Broilers subjected to heat stress had reduced average daily gain (ADG) and average daily feed intake (ADFI); a higher heterophil level and heterophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, and a lower lymphocyte level; upregulated mRNA expression of 70 kDa heat shock protein (HSP70) levels in heart, kidney, and breast muscle; and shorter jejunal villus height, deeper crypt depth, and a lower ratio of villus-height-to-crypt-depth compared with those broilers raised in thermoneutral conditions. Supplemental BG increased ADG, jejunal villus height, and the villus-height-to-crypt-depth ratio and decreased the feed-to-gain ratio and creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase levels in breast muscle compared with the birds who received control diets. The inclusion of BG in diets significantly decreased the mRNA expression of HSP70 levels in heart, kidney, and breast muscle in birds subjected to heat challenge. These results indicate that the BG-supplemented diet was effective in partially ameliorating adverse effects in resistance to heat stress in broiler chickens.