2016 Volume 53 Issue 4 Pages 274-283
The objective of the present study was to examine the effects of nano-selenium on growth performance, antioxidative status, and immune function in broiler chickens reared under thermoneutral (22±1°C) or high ambient temperature (35±1°C) conditions. Thirty-six broiler chicks at 15d old were randomly divided into 6 treatments in a 3×2 factorial design. The main factors included the dietary supplementation (basal diet without Se supplementation [control], basal diet with 0.3 mg of nano-elemental Se per kilogram of diet [nano-Se], and basal diet with 0.3 mg of sodium selenite per kilogram of diet [SSe]) and the ambient temperature challenge (22±1°C or 35±1°C). The birds were given the experimental diets from 15 to 30 d of age. High ambient temperature significantly depressed body weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion ratio, breast muscle weight, and abdominal fat weight, while feeding nano-Se clearly alleviated these negative effects of high ambient temperature. In addition, feeding nano-Se increased glutathione peroxidase mRNA expression in liver and alleviated the negative effects of high ambient temperature via reducing the malondialdehyde content in liver and breast muscle. Furthermore, feeding nano-Se increased mRNA expression of cytokine genes (interleukins 2 and 6) under both thermoneutral and high ambient temperature conditions. Under both thermoneutral and high-temperature conditions, broiler chickens fed nano-Se had higher Se and vitamin E concentrations in breast muscle than broiler chickens fed the control diet. In contrast, feeding SSe at the same dose as nano-Se did not alleviate the negative effects of high ambient temperature on broiler chickens. In conclusion, dietary supplementation with nano-Se at 0.3 mg/kg diet might enhance growth performance by improving antioxidative or immune properties in broilers reared under high ambient temperature.