Veterinary immunology and immunopathology vol:118 issue:1-2 pages:154-9
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the potential effects of dietary L-carnitine supplementation on acute phase protein response upon a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) challenge of male broiler chickens receiving a commercial broiler diet supplemented with 15 or 100 mg L-carnitine/kg or an unsupplemented (control) diet from 14 days of age onwards. At 28 days of age, eight chickens per dietary treatment were weighed and subcutaneously injected with 300 microg LPS from E. coli (100 microg LPS/ml saline) or 3 ml saline (unsupplemented group only). During the next 10 days, blood samples were taken repeatedly and analysed for their hemopexin (HX) and alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP) levels. Extra dietary L-carnitine did not affect broiler performance. At day 1 postinjection, plasma HX and AGP levels were significantly increased in all treatment groups. However, the elevations in circulating HX and AGP levels were more pronounced in the L-carnitine supplemented chickens, especially in the 100mg L-carnitine group. It is concluded that extra L-carnitine in the diet of broiler chickens enhances or advances the acute phase protein response. The exact mode of action needs to be elucidated but seems to be consistent with a glucocorticoid mimicking effect.