Date of Award

5-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Advisor

Maurice, Denzil V

Committee Member

Moore , Brandon D

Committee Member

Toler , Joe E

Committee Member

Scott , Thomas R

Abstract

Noni (Morinda citrifolia) is a popular medicinal plant of family Rubiaceae. Its fruit is rich in various phytochemicals and polysaccharides. Anecdotal evidence indicates that it was used to stimulate the immune system and, thus, to fight various infections. Limited in vitro studies also support the immunomodulatory role of Noni, however only one study utilized an animal model. The purpose of this study was to examine the immunomodulatory properties of Noni fruit the broiler chicken.
Different concentrations of dietary Noni were added to diets and fed to day-old broiler chickens for 3 to 6 weeks. Gut tissue and blood were sampled to determine the expression of selected genes, concentration of immunoglobulins and α–1-acid glycoprotein. The results showed that Noni at 6% concentration increased the expression of Toll like receptor –4 (TLR –4) and TLR–5, chemokine (IL–8), interleukin–12 (IL–12), and decreased the expression of IL–6 and TLR–7. At 4% concentration, Noni stimulated the expression of TLR–3. Increased expression of TLR–3, TLR–4 and TLR–5 indicate antiviral and antibacterial properties of Noni fruits in chickens that are further strengthened by increased expression of IL–12 and IL–8. Decreased expression of IL–6 indicates anti-inflammatory properties of Noni. However, Noni did not have effects on serum and gut immunoglobulins or alpha;–1-acid glycoprotein concentration. Further investigations will be necessary to explore the active immunomodulatory ingredients of Noni and their effects on immunity during viral and bacterial infections.

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