2021 年 58 巻 3 号 p. 154-162
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of dietary brown rice on the growth performance, systemic oxidative status, and splenic inflammatory responses of broiler chickens under both thermo-neutral and chronic heat stress conditions. Forty 12-day-old male broiler chickens (ROSS 308) were randomly assigned to two groups and fed either a control diet (corn-based) or a brown rice-based diet. After seven days (19 days old), both groups were randomly divided into two sub-groups (n=10), one of which was exposed to heat stress (33°C for 14 days), while the other was maintained at 24°C. Heat exposure reduced the body weight gain and feed intake (p<0.01) of both groups. In terms of oxidative plasma states, heat exposure reduced the glutathione peroxidase activity and increased the ceruloplasmin content, while the 2-thiobarbituric acid reactive substance and reduced glutathione levels were not affected adversely. Heat exposure activated the immune responses, as evidenced by increased plasma immunoglobin levels, and altered splenic immune-related gene expressions including heat shock proteins, toll-like receptor 4, and interleukin-12. Under both thermo-neutral and heat stress conditions, dietary brown rice improved the growth performance, decreased the immunoglobulin levels, and down-regulated the expression of splenic immune-related genes of broilers, although their systemic oxidative status was not affected. Dietary brown rice should be considered as a valuable component of broiler chicken feeds subjected to both thermo-neutral and heat stress conditions. The positive effects of brown rice on bird performance may be associated with the modulation of the immune responses, as reflected by the decreased production of immunoglobulins and altered splenic immune-related gene expression.