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Dietary L-arginine supplementation reduces abdominal fat content by modulating lipid metabolism in broiler chickens

  • A. M. Fouad (a1) (a2), H. K. El-Senousey (a1) (a2), X. J. Yang (a1) and J. H. Yao (a1)


This study investigated the effects of different levels of dietary L-arginine (L-Arg) supplementation on the abdominal fat pad, circulating lipids, hepatic fatty acid synthase (FAS) gene expression, gene expression related to fatty acid β-oxidation, and the performance of broiler chickens. We tested whether the dietary L-Arg levels affected the expression of genes related to lipid metabolism in order to reduce body fat deposition. A total of 192 broiler chickens (Cobb 500) aged 21 days with an average BW of 920 ± 15 g were randomly assigned to four groups (six broilers per replicate and eight replicates per treatment). The control group was fed a basal diet, whereas the treatment groups were fed basal diets supplemented with 0.25%, 0.50%, or 1.00% L-Arg for 3 weeks. The average daily feed intake, average daily gain and feed : gain ratio were not affected by the dietary L-Arg levels. However, chickens supplemented with L-Arg had lower abdominal fat content, plasma triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (TC) concentrations, hepatic FAS mRNA expression and increased heart carnitine palmitoyl transferase1 (CPT1) and 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (3HADH) mRNA expression. These findings suggest that the addition of 0.25% L-Arg may reduce the plasma TC concentration by decreasing hepatic 3-hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase mRNA expression. This may lower the plasma TG and abdominal fat content by suppressing hepatic FAS mRNA expression and enhancing CPT1 and 3HADH (genes related to fatty acid β-oxidation) mRNA expression in the hearts of broiler chickens.


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