Dietary Fish Oil or Lofrin, a 5-Lipoxygenase Inhibitor, Decrease the Growth-Suppressing Effects of Coccidiosis in Broiler Chicks

Source: D. R. Korver, P. Wakenell, and K. C. Klasing

Broiler chicks were fed a diet containing 4% of either corn oil or fish oil from 3 to 14 d of age. From Days 15 to 23, half of the chicks in each dietary treatment were fed Lofrin (an experimental 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor) at 33 mu-g/kg feed. The remaining chicks within each dietary treatment were the untreated controls. At 24 d of age, half of the chicks within each diet-Lofrin treatment group were each infected with 4.6 times 10-4 sporulated Eimeria tenella oocysts, resulting in a 2 times 2 times 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. Body weight gain, feed consumption, and feed conversion efficiency were determined throughout the study. At 27 d of age, blood, liver, and ceca were sampled. Plasma tumor necrosis factor and hemopexin, hepatic fatty acid composition, and cecal inflammatory cell infiltration were determined. Liver fatty acid composition tended to reflect that of the diet. Chicks fed fish oil had livers that were enriched in (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) at the expense of (n-6) PUFA. Chicks fed fish oil gained body weight more rapidly than those fed corn oil. Infection of chicks with Eimeria decreased body weight gain of chicks fed corn oil, but not of chicks fed fish oil. The addition of Lofrin to the corn oil diets abrogated the growth-suppressing effects of infection, although there was no Lofrin effect among chicks fed fish oil. There was a diet by Lofrin interaction in which Lofrin treatment of birds fed corn oil decreased feed consumption and increased feed conversion efficiency, but had no effect on chicks fed diets containing fish oil. Plasma hemopexin was greater, but tumor necrosis factor was lower, in chicks fed fish oil than in chicks fed corn oil. Eimeria infection significantly increased cecal inflammatory cell infiltration across all dietary treatments. There were no clear relationships between growth rate or efficiency and the severity of the inflammatory response to Eimeria infection, as indicated by hemopexin levels and cecal inflammatory scores. These results indicate that Lofrin or fish oil, both of which modify eicosanoid metabolism, attenuate the growth-depressing effects of an Eimeria tenella infection.