TitleMaternal dietary n-3 fatty acids alter immune cell fatty acid composition and leukotriene production in growing chicks.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsHall, JA, Jha, S, Skinner, MM, Cherian, G
JournalProstaglandins, leukotrienes, and essential fatty acids
Date Published2007 Jan

The effect of feeding different amounts of n-6 and n-3 fatty acids (FA) to hens on immune tissue FA composition and leukotriene production of hatched chicks was investigated. Hens were fed diets supplemented with either 3.0% sunflower oil (Diet I), 1.5% sunflower+1.5% fish oil (Diet II), or 3.0% fish oil (Diet III) for 46 days. The hatched chicks were fed a diet containing C18:3n-3, but devoid of longer chain n-6 and n-3 FA, for 21 days. Spleen docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) content was higher in chicks from hens fed Diet III (P<0.05). The bursa content of arachidonic acid was lower in chicks hatched from hens fed Diet III (P<0.05), and the ratio of n-6 to n-3 FA was significantly higher in bursa of chicks hatched to hens fed Diet I (P<0.05). Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and DHA contents were higher in bursa of chicks hatched from hens fed Diet III (P<0.05). Thrombocytes from chicks hatched to hens fed Diet III produced the most leukotriene B(5) (LTB(5)). The ratio of LTB(5) to LTB(4) concentrations was also highest (P<0.05) in chicks hatched to hens fed Diet III. These results indicate that modulating maternal dietary n-6 and n-3 FA may alter leukotriene production in chicks, which could lead to less inflammatory-related disorders in poultry.