Developmental Gene Expression in the Small Intestine of Chickens from Lines Divergently Selected for High or Low Juvenile Body Weight.
Miller, Carin Rebecca
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Nutrient transporters in the small intestine are responsible for dietary nutrient assimilation and therefore the expression of these transporters can influence the overall nutrient status as well as the growth and development of the animal. This thesis examined correlated responses to selection in the developmental gene expression of the peptide transporter PepT1, the glutamate/aspartate transporter EAAT3, the sodium-dependent glucose transporter SGLT1, and the fructose transporter GLUT5 in the small intestine of chickens from lines divergently selected for high (HH) or low (LL) eight-week body weight and their reciprocal crosses, (HL and LH). Chicks were weighed and killed on embryonic day 20 (E20), day of hatch (DOH with no access to feed), and days 3 (D3), 7(D7), and 14 (D14) post hatch. Duodenum, jejunum, ileum and liver were collected. DNA extracted from liver was used to sex birds by PCR. RNA was extracted from the intestinal segments of four males and four females from each mating combination (MC) and time point except E20 HL males (n = 3) and D7 LL females (n = 2). Expression of nutrient transporters was assayed by real-time PCR using the relative quantification method. In comparing HH and LL males and females there was a line by segment interaction in PepT1 gene expression, with no segment difference in HH and greatest expression in the ileum of the LL (P < 0.05). There was also a MC by age by sex interaction for PepT1 gene expression (P < 0.0001) with peak gene expression occurring on DOH for LL females, on D7 for HH females, on D7 for LL males and D14 for HH males. Overall, females had greater EAAT3 expression (P < 0.03). Gene expression of EAAT3 was greatest in the ileum, intermediate in the jejunum, and least in the duodenum (P < 0.0007). There was an age by segment interaction for EAAT3 expression (P = 0.0002) and a MC by segment interaction (P < 0.02), with LL having greater expression than HH in the ileum. Females had greater SGLT1 expression than males (P < 0.0001). There was a sex by age interaction for the expression of SGLT1 (P < 0.0001). Females induced SGLT1 expression on DOH and maintained this level through D14, while males gradually increased expression through D7 and decreased expression by D14. These results indicate that expression of PepT1, EAAT3, SGLT1 are differentially expressed in male and female chickens regardless of selection for high or low juvenile body weight. These results also show a sexual dimorphism in the capacity to absorb peptides, anionic amino acids, and glucose from the intestine, which has implications for the poultry industry with regard to diet formulations for straight-run and sex-separate grow-out operations. In comparing male HH, HL, LH, and LL chicks, overall LL had the greatest level of expression (P <0.06), HH had the least level of expression (P < 0.006) and HL and LH had intermediate levels of expression (P < 0.06). Greatest PepT1 gene was expression in the ileum (P < 0.0003) and there was a MC by segment interaction with expression increasing from duodenum to ileum in LL, but there was no segment difference in any other MC (P < 0.08). Within each intestinal segment there was a MC difference (P < 0.02). There was an effect of sire for PepT1 expression, with progeny from low weight selected sires (LWS) having greater expression than progeny from high weight selected (HWS) sires (P = 0.0008). There was no difference between intestinal segments in progeny from HWS sires, however, greatest PepT1 gene expression was seen in the ileum of progeny from LWS sires (P < 0.0001). Overall, expression of EAAT3 was greatest in the ileum, intermediate in the jejunum and least in the ileum (P < 0.0001) and there was a segment by age interaction for EAAT3 expression (P < 0.0001). In all MCs except HH, EAAT3 gene expression increased from duodenum to ileum (P < 0.08). Within the ileum, the LL had greatest EAAT3 gene expression, LH and HL had intermediate gene expression, and HH had least expression (P < 0.08). Expression of SGLT1 gradually increased through D7 and decreased by D14 (P < 0.0001) and overall, was greatest in the distal small intestine (P < 0.0001). There was a MC by segment interaction, with SGLT1 gene expression being greatest in the distal small intestine in LL, LH, and HL, but greatest in the jejunum of HH (P < 0.04). Within the ileum, LL had greater SGLT1 gene expression than HH (P < 0.06). Overall, greatest GLUT5 expression was in the distal small intestine (P < 0.0001) and there was a MC by segment interaction, with expression being greatest in the distal small intestine in LL and HL (P < 0.02), greatest in the ileum of LH (P < 0.08), and greatest in the jejunum of HH (P < 0.09). Within the ileum there was a MC difference (P < 0.07). These results indicate that selection for high or low juvenile body weight may have influenced the gene expression pattern of these nutrient transporters in the small intestine, which may contribute to the overall differences in the growth and development of these lines of chickens.
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