Maternal Dietary FA Modulate the Long-Chain n-3 PUFA Status of Chick Cardiac Tissue

Source: AO Ajuyah, G Cherian, Y Wang, H Sunwoo, and JS Sim
The effect that egg yolk or maternal n-3 FA have on the cardiac tissue long-chain n-3 FA status of chicks during growth was investigated. Eggs with low, medium, and high levels of n-3 PUFA were obtained by feeding breeder hens a wheat/soybean meal-based diet containing 5% sunflower oil (Low n-3), 2.5% sunflower oil plus 2.5% fish oil (Medium n-3), or 5% fish oil (High n-3). The chicks hatched from Low, Medium, and High n-3 eggs were fed a diet containing 18:3n-3, but devoid of long-chain n-3 FA. The FA composition of cardiac tissue was determined on days 0, 14, 28, and 42. At day 0, the cardiac FA reflected maternal diet. With time, the level of all the long-chain n-3 FA decreased compared with day 0, and this was true especially by day 14. These data show that dietary 18:3n-3 fed to the chicks did not sustain high levels of EPA and DHA in cardiac tissue, despite the high content of long-chain n-3 FA in the maternal diet. At days 0 and 14, the chicks hatched from High and Medium n-3 eggs had higher 20:5n-3, 22:5n-3, and 22:6n-3 contents with a concomitant reduction in 20:4n-6 in the cardiac tissue compared with the Low n-3 egg group. Cardiac tissue of birds hatched from Medium n-3 eggs retained higher levels of 20:5n-3 up to day 42 of growth when compared with other treatments (P < 0.05). None of the treatments was effective in maintaining DHA levels after day 14 of growth.