Date of Award

8-2007

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Advisor

Scott, Thomas R

Abstract

The role of thrombocytes, nucleated blood leukocytes, on immune responses in chickens fed diets supplemented with vitamin C has not been studied in the past. This study investigates the effects of three types of diets(control, control with corticosterone, and control with corticosterone and vitamin C) in 14-day old broiler chicks on the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6, and IL-12 in thrombocytes. In addition, the effect of LPS, a microbial component to which broiler chicks can be exposed, on the expression of these pro-inflammatory cytokines was investigated. After two weeks of feeding, blood samples from the chicks were collected and the thrombocytes isolated were incubated with LPS for an hour. Then, RNA was extracted from the samples to study the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines using real-time RT-PCR. The study found that the diets fed to broiler chicks do not affect the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6, and IL-12 in thrombocytes. However, LPS does increase the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6, and IL-12. The fact that thrombocytes are so abundant, and can be stimulated by LPS makes them the primary effector cell in innate host defenses against bacterial infections in poultry.

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