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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted Articles
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.19.0542    [Accepted] Published online November 12, 2019.
Effects of N-acetylcysteine on the energy status and antioxidant capacity in heart and liver of cold-stressed broilers
Chengcheng Li1  , Meng Peng1  , Man Liao1  , Shuangshuang Guo1  , Yongqing Hou1  , Binying Ding1  , Tao Wu1  , Dan Yi1,* 
Hubei International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Base of Animal Nutrition and Gut Health, Wuhan Polytechnic University, Wuhan 430023, China
Correspondence:  Dan Yi, Tel: +86-027-83956175, Fax: +86-027-83956175, Email: yidan810204@163.com
Received: 3 July 2019   • Revised: 26 August 2019   • Accepted: 28 October 2019
Cold stress induces oxidative damage and impairs energy status of broilers. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) exhibits antioxidant properties and modulates energy metabolism of animals. This study was conducted to investigate the effects of NAC on energy status and antioxidant capacity of heart and liver in the cold-stressed broilers.
The experiment consisted of 4 treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement with two diets (basal diet or plus 0.1% NAC) and two ambient temperatures (thermoneutral (conventional ambient temperature) or cold stress (10 ± 1°C during days 15-42)).
No ascites were seen in cold-stressed broilers. NAC did not attenuate the impaired growth performance of stressed birds. However, NAC decreased plasma asparagine but increased aspartate levels in cold-stressed birds (P<0.05). NAC reduced hepatic adenosine triphosphate (ATP) but elevated adenosine diphosphate contents in unstressed birds (P<0.05). The hepatic ratio of adenosine monophosphate (AMP) to ATP was increased in birds fed NAC (P<0.05). NAC decreased plasma malondialdehyde (MDA) level and cardiac total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) activity in unstressed birds, but increased hepatic activities of T-SOD, catalase and glutathione peroxidase in stressed birds (P<0.05). NAC down-regulated hepatic AMP-activated protein kinase but up-regulated cardiac heme-oxigenase mRNA expression in stressed birds, and decreased expression of hepatic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor coactivator-1α as well as hypoxia-inducible factor-1α in liver and heart of birds.
Dietary NAC did not affect energy status but enhanced the hepatic antioxidant capacity by increasing the activities of antioxidant enzymes in cold-stressed broilers.
Keywords: Antioxidative Capacity; Broiler; Cold Stress; Energy Status; N-acetylcysteine

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