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Anim Biosci > Volume 34(4); 2021 > Article
Nonruminant Nutrition and Feed Processing
Animal Bioscience 2021;34(4): 652-661.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.19.0953    Published online April 13, 2020.
The impaired redox status and activated nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2/antioxidant response element pathway in wooden breast myopathy in broiler chickens
Xiaona Pan1  , Lin Zhang1  , Tong Xing1  , Jiaolong Li1  , Feng Gao1,* 
College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
Correspondence:  Feng Gao, Tel: +86-025-84399007, Fax: +86-025-84395314, Email: gaofeng0629@sina.com
Received: 13 December 2019   • Revised: 5 March 2020   • Accepted: 6 April 2020
Wooden breast (WB) is a novel myopathy affecting modern broiler chickens, which causes substantial economic losses in the poultry industry. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of WB abnormality on meat quality, redox status, as well as the expression of genes of the nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) pathway.
A total of 80 broilers (Ross 308, 42 days of age, about 2.6 kg body weight) raised at Jiujin farm (Suqian, Jiangsu, China) were used. Twelve unaffected (no detectable hardness of the breast area) and twelve WB-affected (diffuse remarkable hardness in the breast muscle) birds were selected from the commercial broiler farm according to the criteria proposed by previous studies.
The results indicated that WB showed histological lesions characterized by fiber degeneration and fibrosis, along with an increase of muscle fiber diameter (p<0.05). Moreover, higher pH value, lightness, yellowness, drip loss and cooking loss were observed in the WB group (p<0.05). Compared with the normal breast (NOR) group, the WB group showed higher formation of reactive oxygen species (p<0.05), increased level of oxidation products and antioxidant activities (p<0.05), accompanied with mitochondrial damages and lower mitochondrial membrane potential (p<0.05). Meanwhile, the relative mRNA expressions of Nrf2 and its downstream antioxidant genes including heme oxygenase‐1, NAD(P)H qui none dehydrogenase 1, glutathione peroxidase, superoxide dismutase, and glutamate-cysteine ligase were higher than those of the NOR group (p<0.05).
In conclusion, WB myopathy impairs meat quality by causing oxidative damages and mitochondrial dysfunction in broilers, even though the activated Nrf2/antioxidant response element pathway provides protection for the birds.
Keywords: Wooden Breast; Meat Quality; Mitochondria; Redox Status; Nrf2/ARE Pathway
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