Endotoxin Translocation Is Increased in Broiler Chickens Fed a Fusarium Mycotoxin-Contaminated Diet

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Toxins (Basel). 2024 Mar 25;16(4):167. doi: 10.3390/toxins16040167.

ABSTRACT

Broiler chickens in livestock production face numerous challenges that can impact their health and welfare, including mycotoxin contamination and heat stress. In this study, we aimed to investigate the combined effects of two mycotoxins, deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FBs), along with short-term heat stress conditions, on broiler gut health and endotoxin translocation. An experiment was conducted to assess the impacts of mycotoxin exposure on broilers, focusing on intestinal endotoxin activity, gene expression related to gut barrier function and inflammation, and the plasma concentration of the endotoxin marker 3-OH C14:0 either at thermoneutral conditions or short-term heat stress conditions. Independently of heat stress, broilers fed DON-contaminated diets exhibited reduced body weight gain during the starter phase (Day 1-12) compared to the control group, while broilers fed FB-contaminated diets experienced decreased body weight gain throughout the entire trial period (Day 1-24). Furthermore, under thermoneutral conditions, broilers fed DON-contaminated diets showed an increase in 3-OH C14:0 concentration in the plasma. Moreover, under heat stress conditions, the expression of genes related to gut barrier function (Claudin 5, Zonulin 1 and 2) and inflammation (Toll-like receptor 4, Interleukin-1 beta, Interleukin-6) was significantly affected by diets contaminated with mycotoxins, depending on the gut segment. This effect was particularly prominent in broilers fed diets contaminated with FBs. Notably, the plasma concentration of 3-OH C14:0 increased in broilers exposed to both DON- and FB-contaminated diets under heat stress conditions. These findings shed light on the intricate interactions between mycotoxins, heat stress, gut health, and endotoxin translocation in broiler chickens, highlighting the importance of understanding these interactions for the development of effective management strategies in livestock production to enhance broiler health and welfare.

PMID:38668592 | DOI:10.3390/toxins16040167