Supplementing chestnut tannins in the broiler diet mediates a metabolic phenotype of the ceca.
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As the demand for alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) increases in food animal production, phytobiotic compounds gain popularity because of their ability to mimic the desirable bioactive properties of AGP. Chestnut tannins (ChT) are one of many phytobiotic compounds used as feed additives, particularly in South America, for broilers because of its favorable antimicrobial and growth promotion capabilities. Although studies have observed the microbiological and immunologic effects of ChT, there is a lack of studies evaluating the metabolic function of ChT. Therefore, the objective of this study was to characterize the cecal metabolic changes induced by ChT inclusion and how they relate to growth promotion. A total of 200 day-of-hatch broiler chicks were separated into 2 feed treatment groups: control and 1% ChT. The ceca from all the chicks in the treatment groups were collected on day 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 after hatch. The cytokine mRNA quantitative RT-PCR was determined using TaqMan gene expression assays for IL-1B, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, and interferon gamma quantification. The cytokine expression showed highly significant increased expressions of IL-6 and IL-10 on day 2 and 6, whereas the other proinflammatory cytokines did not have significantly increased expression. The results from the kinome array demonstrated that the ceca from birds fed with 1% ChT had significant (P<0.05) metabolic alterations based on the number of peptides when compared with the control group across all day tested. The increased expression of IL-6 appeared to be strongly indicative of altered metabolism, whereas the increased expression of IL-10 indicated the regulatory effect against other proinflammatory cytokines other than IL-6. The ChT initiate a metabolic mechanism during the first 10d in the broiler. For the first time, we show that a phytobiotic product initially modulates metabolism while also potentially supporting growth andfeed efficiency downstream. In conclusion, a metabolic phenotype alteration in the ceca of chickens fed ChT may indicate the importance of enhanced broiler gut health.