Special Issue "Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Pietro Lombardi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Napoli Federico II, 80100 Naples, Italy
Interests: animals physiology; clinical biochemistry; hematology; behavioral sciences
Prof. Pietro Medica
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Science, Università degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italy
Interests: endocrinology, metabolism, exercise physiology, animal physiology
Dr. Nadia Musco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy
Interests: animals nutrition, feed evaluation, animal production, food of animal origin

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutraceutical is a broad term coined from “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical” and refers to “nondrug substance that is produced in a purified or extracted form, administered orally to provide agents required for normal body structure and function, with the intent of improving the health and well-being of animals”. Nutraceuticals are feed or part of a feed that provides health benefits, including the prevention and/or treatment of a disease. Veterinary nutraceutical medicine has been defined as “the use of micronutrients, macronutrients and other nutritional supplements as therapeutic agents”. The use of conventional therapies, as pharmaceutical products in association with diet and nutraceuticals, is the goal of integrative veterinary medicine in order to improve health conditions and wellness in patients, but also to improve behavior, performance, and food quality. Nutraceuticals are generally very safe to use, because of poor adverse effects, and may be used as a primary therapy or added to conventional medicine. An increasing number of veterinarians is prescribing nutraceuticals in their practice. Indeed, the mechanisms by which nutraceuticals act on animals’ metabolism, including hematology, blood profile, and endocrine status, often need to be elucidated. The topic is of great interest for almost all species, including companion animals, livestock, and animal models.

Prof. Pietro Lombardi
Prof. Pietro Medica
Dr. Nadia Musco
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • alternative medicine
  • animal behavior
  • animal performance
  • animal physiology
  • animal welfare
  • functional feeds
  • herbal medicine
  • nutraceuticals
  • nutritional supplement
  • technological production processes

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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Article
Garlic Alleviates the Injurious Impact of Cyclosporine-A in Male Rats through Modulation of Fibrogenic and Steroidogenic Genes
Animals 2021, 11(1), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11010064 - 31 Dec 2020
Viewed by 595
Abstract
This work aimed to study the hepato-testicular protective effect of garlic in rats treated with cyclosporine A (CsA). Forty male Westar albino rats were randomly distributed in five groups (8 rats each): control, olive oil, garlic, CsA, and CsA co-treated with garlic. CsA [...] Read more.
This work aimed to study the hepato-testicular protective effect of garlic in rats treated with cyclosporine A (CsA). Forty male Westar albino rats were randomly distributed in five groups (8 rats each): control, olive oil, garlic, CsA, and CsA co-treated with garlic. CsA induced an upsurge in the alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and alkaline phosphatase levels and decreased albumin and total protein levels, expression of superoxide dismutase (SOD) gene, serum testosterone, triiodothyronine, and thyroxine levels compared to the control group. Additionally, there was an increase in the cholesterol, triglyceride, and low-density lipoprotein levels and a substantial reduction in the high-density lipoprotein levels compared to the control groups. Histopathological investigation of the liver showed abnormalities like hepatic cell degeneration, congestion of blood vessels, and highly active Kupffer cells in the CsA group. Histopathological examination of testes showed damaged seminiferous tubules, stoppage of the maturation of spermatogonia, and the presence of cells with irregular dense nuclei in the lumina of some tubules. For the groups treated with garlic, mitigation of the damage caused by CsA in the liver and testes, liver function tests, lipid profiles, and hormones was seen along with improved gene expression of SOD and steroidogenesis genes, and decreased gene expression of collagen I-α1 and transforming growth factor-1β. Conclusively, garlic had a positive impact on CsA-induced hepatic and sperm toxicity. It is recommended that garlic should be supplemented in transplant treatments using CsA to alleviate the cyclosporin-induced oxidative injuries and other harmful effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Influence of Feeding Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) Seeds and Prickly Pear Fruit (Opuntia ficus indica) Peel on the Immune Response and Resistance to Aeromonas sobria Infection in Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus)
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2266; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122266 - 01 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 605
Abstract
In recent times, nutraceuticals have been used extensively to identify promising feed additives for the improvement of the aquaculture industry through the enhancement of growth and survival rates, potentiation of the immune responses, and fortification of the resistance against infectious bacterial diseases. In [...] Read more.
In recent times, nutraceuticals have been used extensively to identify promising feed additives for the improvement of the aquaculture industry through the enhancement of growth and survival rates, potentiation of the immune responses, and fortification of the resistance against infectious bacterial diseases. In this study, Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) were fed with diets supplemented with quinoa seeds (QU) or prickly pear fruit peel (PP) at the dose levels of 10% or 20% of the diet. After 45 days of the feeding trial, the fish were exposed to Aeromonas sobria (A. sobria) challenge. The pre-challenge indices indicated that both supplements mediated a significant improvement in most of the estimated parameters, including survival rate, antioxidant status, hematological and immunological indices, and hepatoprotective potential. These effects were recorded in the groups fed with high doses of the supplements (20%). The least changes were observed in the QU10-supplemented fish. In the spleen tissue, the TGF-β gene was upregulated in the PP10-, PP20- and QU20-supplemented groups, while the expression of the IFN-γ gene remained unaffected in all the supplemented groups, except for the PP20-supplemented group, which showed an upregulation. After the challenge with A. sobria, the relative survival percentage was improved by the supplementation of PP and QU, particularly in the PP20-supplemented group, possibly via the promotion of immunological responses, hepatoprotective potency, and modulation of the studied genes. Moreover, the morphological structure of the tissues showed marked recovery. The findings suggest that Nile tilapia fed with different levels of PP peel and QU seeds, particularly at the level of 20%, enhanced the immune response in fish and improved their resistance against A. sobria infection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Effect of Inclusion of Degraded and Non-Degraded Date Pits in Broilers’ Diet on their Intestinal Microbiota and Growth Performance
Animals 2020, 10(11), 2041; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10112041 - 05 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 524
Abstract
The current study aims to assess the effect of non-degraded date pits (NDDP) and degraded date pits (DDP) in broilers’ diets on gut microbiota and growth performance. The degradation of date pits (DP) occurred via the cellulolytic fungus Trichoderma reesei by a solid-state [...] Read more.
The current study aims to assess the effect of non-degraded date pits (NDDP) and degraded date pits (DDP) in broilers’ diets on gut microbiota and growth performance. The degradation of date pits (DP) occurred via the cellulolytic fungus Trichoderma reesei by a solid-state degradation procedure. One-day-old Brazilian broilers were allocated into six dietary groups: (1) maize–soy diet, (2) maize–soy diet with oxytetracycline (20%, 50 g 100 kg−1), (3) maize–soy diet with 5% NDDP, (4) maize–soy diet with 10% NDDP, (5) maize–soy diet with 5% DDP, and (6) maize–soy diet with 10% DDP. At the end of the trial, the total count of bacteria was significantly (p < 0.05) less in broilers fed 10% DDP diet (treatment 6) compared with the control group (treatment 1). In addition, DDP and oxytetracycline control diets have a similar diminishing effect on total bacterial counts and the populations of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Shigella spp., and Escherichia coli. Over 35 days of trial, weight gains were similar among the six dietary groups. Our results showed that DDP and control diets have a similar effect on growth performance. The feed conversion ratio (FCR) was poorer in broilers fed NDDP diets than other treatments. The European Production Efficiency Index (EPEI) was greater with 5% and 10% DDP than those fed NDDP at the same levels, with no significant variance from the control and antibiotic-supplemented diet (treatment 2). Overall, it can be suggested that maintaining 10% of DDP can partly replace dietary maize while also serves as a gut health enhancer and thus a growth promoter in the diet for broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
Article
Dietary Phytogenic Combination with Hops and a Mixture of a Free Butyrate Acidifier and Gluconic Acid Maintaining the Health Status of the Gut and Performance in Chickens
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1335; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081335 - 02 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 973
Abstract
Additives with bioactive properties can improve chickens’ gut health. This study investigated the physiological status of the gut, including its morphological structure and microbiome activities in chickens fed diets supplemented with phytogenic ingredients with hops (Anta®Phyt) or a mixture of a [...] Read more.
Additives with bioactive properties can improve chickens’ gut health. This study investigated the physiological status of the gut, including its morphological structure and microbiome activities in chickens fed diets supplemented with phytogenic ingredients with hops (Anta®Phyt) or a mixture of a free butyrate acidifier and gluconic acid (PreAcid). In this study, 1155 broilers were distributed to three dietary treatments with 5 replicate pens per treatment, 77 birds each. Anta®Phyt was added at 400/300/200/200 mg/kg diet whereas PreAcid was added at 3/2/1/1 g/kg starter/grower I/grower II/finisher diet respectively. Dietary treatments did not compromise body weight in different growth periods. In the birds fed PreAcid-supplemented diet, higher gut concentration of butyric acid was observed, particularly in the early stage of growth, while the profile of the short-chain fatty acids was maintained among the treatments. Neither additive significantly affected cecal bacterial enzyme activities. Feeding the birds with Anta®Phyt and PreAcid had beneficial effects on gut morphostructure indices, including intestinal wall thickness, crypt depth and the villus height to crypt depth ratio, in 35- and 42-day old birds. In conclusion, the feeding Anta®Phyt- or PreAcid-supplemented diet exerted beneficial effects on the indices determining the physiological status of the gut and maintained good performance of birds of different ages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
A Nutritional Supplement (DìLshTM) Improves the Inflammatory Cytokines Response, Oxidative Stress Markers and Clinical Signs in Dogs Naturally Infected by Leishmania infantum
Animals 2020, 10(6), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10060938 - 29 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 723
Abstract
The possibility to associate nutraceuticals, as immune-modulating tools, to the treatment of visceral leishmaniosis is a matter of great interest. In this study, we investigated whether the administration of a nutritional supplement (DìLshTM, Dynamopet SRL, Verona, Italy) was able to exert [...] Read more.
The possibility to associate nutraceuticals, as immune-modulating tools, to the treatment of visceral leishmaniosis is a matter of great interest. In this study, we investigated whether the administration of a nutritional supplement (DìLshTM, Dynamopet SRL, Verona, Italy) was able to exert beneficial effects on the inflammatory state and oxidative stress of the dogs naturally infected by Leishmania infantum. To this purpose, specific parameters, namely Tumor Necrosis Factor -alpha (TNFα), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), Inteleukin-10 (IL-10), leptin, derivates of Reactive Oxigen Metabolites (d-Roms) and Biological Antioxidant Potential (BAP), as well as the haematological and biochemical profiles of the infected dogs, were investigated upon the treatment with the nutritional supplement and compared with the conventional pharmacological anti-Leishmania therapy. The animals underwent complete clinical examination and blood sample collection before (T0) and 3 months after (T90) the onset of the two treatments. The two treatments showed similar results: significant clinical improvement, ELISA positivity and IgG decrease, an increase in IL-10, and a decrease in IL-6 were observed in animals treated with the nutritional supplement. A decrease in d-Roms and an increase in BAP were also detected in both groups. On the whole, the nutritional supplement possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, suggesting that it may support animals’ health and be useful to extend the time a drug therapy is needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Analysis of Astragalus Polysaccharide Intervention in Heat-Stressed Dairy Cows’ Serum Metabolomics
Animals 2020, 10(4), 574; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10040574 - 29 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 909
Abstract
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of astragalus polysaccharides (APS) on serum metabolism of dairy cows under heat stress. Thirty healthy Holstein dairy cows were randomly divided into three groups (10 cows in each group). In the experimental group, 30 mL/d [...] Read more.
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of astragalus polysaccharides (APS) on serum metabolism of dairy cows under heat stress. Thirty healthy Holstein dairy cows were randomly divided into three groups (10 cows in each group). In the experimental group, 30 mL/d (Treatment I) and 50 mL/d (Treatment II) of APS injection were injected into the neck muscle respectively. Each stage was injected with APS for 4 days (8:00 a.m. every day) and stopped for 3 days. Serum hormone and antioxidant indexes of dairy cows were investigated. Through repeated measurement analysis of variance, the results have shown that cortisol (COR) (F = 6.982, p = 0.026), triiodothyronine (T3) (F = 10.005, p = 0.012) and thyroxine (T4) (F = 22.530, p = 0.002) at different time points were significantly different. COR showed a downward trend, T3 and T4 showed an upward trend. At each time point, different concentrations of APS have significant effects on COR (F = 30.298, p = 0.000 < 0.05), T3 (F = 18.122, p = 0.001), and T4 (F = 44.067, p = 0.000 < 0.05). However, there were no significant differences in serum insulin (INS), glucagon (GC) and heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) between different time points (p > 0.05) and at each time point (p > 0.05). Additionally, the results have also shown that there were also no significant differences in serum Superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) between different time points (p > 0.05) and at each time point (p > 0.05). However, the injection of APS had a significant impact on glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) (F = 9.421, p = 0.014) at different times, and showed a trend of rising first and then falling. At each time point, APS of different concentrations had no significant effect on GSH-Px (p > 0.05). Furthermore, we used gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) non-targeted metabolomics to determine the potential markers of APS for heat-stressed dairy cows. Twenty metabolites were identified as potential biomarkers for the diagnosis of APS in heat-stressed dairy cows. These substances are involved in protein digestion and absorption, glutathione metabolism, prolactin signaling pathway, aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, pentose and glucuronate interconversions, and so on. Our findings suggest that APS have an effect on the serum hormones of heat-stressed dairy cows, and regulate the metabolism of heat-stressed dairy cows through glucose metabolism and amino acid metabolism pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
The Prophylactic Use of Bovine Colostrum in a Murine Model of TNBS-Induced Colitis
Animals 2020, 10(3), 492; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030492 - 15 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1207
Abstract
This study investigated the effects of a short-term administration of bovine colostrum (BC) in a TNBS model of induced colitis. Colitis was induced by TNBS treatment after seven days of BC (BC group, n = 12) or saline (control group, n = 12) [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effects of a short-term administration of bovine colostrum (BC) in a TNBS model of induced colitis. Colitis was induced by TNBS treatment after seven days of BC (BC group, n = 12) or saline (control group, n = 12) administration in mice. Clinical signs, histopathological characteristics, expression levels of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and microbial composition were assessed. BC was well tolerated and did not induce any histological damage or clinical symptoms. After TNBS treatment, the BC group showed a reduction in body weight (BW) loss compared to Control (p < 0.05). Moreover, expression levels of TLR4 (p < 0.01), Interleukin-1β (IL-1β; p < 0.001), Interleukin-8 (IL-8; p < 0.001), and Interleukin-10 (IL-10; p < 0.001) were lower in mice administered with BC. Finally, Escherichia coli were higher (p < 0.05), while Enterococci (p < 0.001), Lactobacillus spp. (p < 0.001), and Bifidobacterium spp. (p < 0.05) were lower in Control than BC group. This study confirms that pre-treatment with BC modulates the expression of genes and the count of microbes involved in the etiopathogenesis of colitis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Zinc and Copper with New Triazine Hydrazone Ligand: Two Novel Organic Complexes Enhanced Expression of Peptide Growth Factors and Cytokine Genes in Weaned V-Line Rabbit
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1134; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121134 - 12 Dec 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1155
Abstract
Two novel transitional organic Zn/Cu complexes based on a new biocompatible bidentate triazine–hydrazone ligand (Thz) was designed, synthesized, and evaluated in this study. This study evaluated the effects of injecting 60 mg of Zn and 40 mg of Cu in three different forms, [...] Read more.
Two novel transitional organic Zn/Cu complexes based on a new biocompatible bidentate triazine–hydrazone ligand (Thz) was designed, synthesized, and evaluated in this study. This study evaluated the effects of injecting 60 mg of Zn and 40 mg of Cu in three different forms, twice per week, for eight weeks on growth performance, expression of growth factors and cytokine genes, carcass yield, blood biochemicals, and intestinal morphology in weaned rabbits. The tested complexes were sulfate (Cu/ZnSO4), montmorillonite (Cu/Zn-Mnt), and triazine hydrazone (Cu/Zn-Thz). A total of 60 V-line weaned rabbits at four weeks of age were assigned to four treatments (n = 15), which were intramuscularly injected with 0.5 mL of either (1) saline (control) or saline containing (2) Cu/ZnSO4, (3) Cu/Zn-Mnt, or (4) Cu/Zn-Thz. Compared to the controls, the rabbits injected with Cu/Zn-Thz showed a higher (p < 0.01) growth rate, carcass yield (p < 0.05), and liver expression of insulin like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), growth hormone receptor (GHR), fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF1), and transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFB1) (p < 0.05), as well as better jejunum morphometric variables (p < 0.05). On the other hand, mRNA of FGF1, TGF1, TCIRG1, and adenosine deaminase (ADA) were higher expressed (p < 0.05) in the spleen tissues of Cu/Zn-Mnt group. Collectively, the results indicated that our novel synthesized organic complexes of Zn/Cu-Thz proved to be a suitable feed supplement, as it increased rabbit productive performance through enhancing expression of peptide growth factors and cytokine genes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Effect of the Addition of Humic Substances as Growth Promoter in Broiler Chickens Under Two Feeding Regimens
Animals 2019, 9(12), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9121101 - 09 Dec 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 914
Abstract
Humic substances (HS) from different sources have been evaluated to replace or reduce the use of growth promoter antibiotics (GPA) in the feeds of broiler chickens. The objective was to evaluate the growth performance, tibia measurements, nutrient balance, meat quality, and microbiological status [...] Read more.
Humic substances (HS) from different sources have been evaluated to replace or reduce the use of growth promoter antibiotics (GPA) in the feeds of broiler chickens. The objective was to evaluate the growth performance, tibia measurements, nutrient balance, meat quality, and microbiological status of broiler fed with an HS extract (EHS) under ad libitum (ADLIB) or feed restriction (REST). Individually caged broilers (n = 180, 14–35 day of age) were assigned to a factorial arrangement of three dietary treatments: (1) positive control with bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD) and salinomycin; (2) negative control without BMD nor salinomycin, and (3) same as negative control with 0.25% EHS, and two feeding regimens 1) ADLIB or REST for 24 h on d 1, 7, and 14. Results were subjected to ANOVA. Positive control and EHS-fed broilers showed higher carcass yield (p < 0.05) and lower oocyst excretion (p < 0.01) compared to negative control birds. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) were higher in negative control and EHS-broilers compared to positive control (p < 0.01). In conclusion, higher carcass yield, lower C. perfringens and oocyst excretion were found in positive control and higher carcass yield, higher LAB and lower oocyst excretion were found in EHS-fed broilers. Broilers subjected to REST had reduced growth performance and meat quality. In conclusion, EHS could be used to increase the carcass yield and beneficial LAB in broilers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Protective Effect of Resveratrol Improves Systemic Inflammation Responses in LPS-Injected Lambs
Animals 2019, 9(11), 872; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9110872 - 28 Oct 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1036
Abstract
Highly intensive livestock production often causes immune stress to animals, which makes them more susceptible to infections. The aim of this study was to examine whether resveratrol (Res) alleviates inflammation in lambs. In Experiment 1, 16 male lambs were injected with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) [...] Read more.
Highly intensive livestock production often causes immune stress to animals, which makes them more susceptible to infections. The aim of this study was to examine whether resveratrol (Res) alleviates inflammation in lambs. In Experiment 1, 16 male lambs were injected with lipopolysaccharides (LPS) at an initial dose of 0.25, 1.25, and 2.5 μg/kg body weight (BW) for 9 days. Average daily gain and blood parameters were measured and clinical symptoms were recorded. In Experiment 2, 20 male lambs were injected intravenously with LPS (0 mg/kg) + Res (0 mg), LPS (2.5 μg /kg) + Res (0 mg, 82.5 mg, 165 mg, 330 mg), 4 h after LPS injection. Jugular blood was collected from each lamb to determine white blood cell (WBC) counts and the expression of inflammatory genes. In Experiment 1, all LPS-treated lambs showed clinical signs of sickness including rhinorrhea, lethargy, and shivering, and systemic inflammatory responses of increased inflammatory genes levels and cortisol concentration. The lambs had increased respiratory and heart rates and rectal temperature and decreased average daily gain and feed intake. In Experiment 2, resveratrol significantly reduced WBCs and the expression levels of several genes associated with inflammation response (TLR4, NF-κB, c-jun) and inhibited the signaling cascades of NF-κB and MAPKs by down-regulating the expression levels of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ) induced by LPS. Resveratrol attenuated the LPS-evoked inflammatory responses in lambs by suppressing expression levels of inflammatory cytokines, and blocking NF-κB and MAPK signaling pathways. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Induction of Chemerin on Autophagy and Apoptosis in Dairy Cow Mammary Epithelial Cells
Animals 2019, 9(10), 848; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100848 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 989
Abstract
Involution of the mammary gland is a complex process controlled by various endocrine hormones and cytokine. As a novel adipocytokine, Chemerin not only plays a pivotal role in physiological and pathological processes such as immune response and lipid metabolism, but is also involved [...] Read more.
Involution of the mammary gland is a complex process controlled by various endocrine hormones and cytokine. As a novel adipocytokine, Chemerin not only plays a pivotal role in physiological and pathological processes such as immune response and lipid metabolism, but is also involved in the regulation of programmed cell death, including autophagy and apoptosis. The purpose of the present study was to elucidate whether autophagy and apoptosis of bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMECs) was triggered by Chemerin. BMECs were cultured and treated with Chemerin in vitro. The expression of autophagosome-forming marker, microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 II (LC3-II) and sequestosome-1 (SQSTM 1, best known as p62), a substrate of autophagosome degradation were detected. The result showed that Chemerin significantly decreased the expression of p62 and markedly induced the conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II. The ratio of Bcl2-associated X and B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bax/Bcl-2) and the activity of caspase-3 were up-regulated after being treated by Chemerin, and the apoptotic rate was also significantly increased. These results suggested that Chemerin promoted the occurrence of autophagy and apoptosis in BMECs. Chloroquine (CQ), which is an inhibitor of autophagy. To explore effects of Chemerin on apoptosis, we prevented Chemerin-induced autophagy by pre-adding CQ in BMECs. Interestingly, this part of the experiment helped us find that all effects of Chemerin on apoptosis of BMECs could be enhanced with the inhibition of autophagy. Our study demonstrates that Chemerin-induced autophagy and apoptosis are mutually regulated in BMECs, but the specific mechanism remains to be further researched. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Essential Oil Blend Could Decrease Diarrhea Prevalence by Improving Antioxidative Capability for Weaned Pigs
Animals 2019, 9(10), 847; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100847 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1475
Abstract
Finding an alternative to in-feed antibiotics is important because of increasing contemporary concern regarding drug residues and the development of drug-resistant bacteria. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that essential oils added to the feed would decrease diarrhea prevalence [...] Read more.
Finding an alternative to in-feed antibiotics is important because of increasing contemporary concern regarding drug residues and the development of drug-resistant bacteria. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that essential oils added to the feed would decrease diarrhea prevalence in post-weaned pigs. Ninety weaned piglets (initial body weight (BW): 8.1 ± 1.4 kg) were randomly assigned to one of three dietary diets: (1) a control diet (CON, the basal diet without antibiotics), (2) an antibiotic diet (AB, CON supplemented with colistin sulfate, 20 mg/kg and bacitracin zinc, 40 mg/kg), or (3) an essential oil diet (EO, CON supplemented with an essential oil blend 100 mg/kg) in a completely randomized block design for a 28-day period. The results revealed that AB and EO improved the average daily gain of the piglets from day (d) 15 to 28 (p < 0.05). The diarrhea prevalence in piglets fed AB and EO was lower than that of piglets fed CON (p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the growth performance or diarrhea prevalence between the AB and EO treatments. Nutrient digestibility was measured at d 28. Compared with CON, EO increased the apparent total tract digestibility of gross energy and crude protein (p < 0.05). Villus height in the duodenum and the ratio of villus height to crypt depth in the jejunum for piglets fed AB and EO was greater than those for piglets fed CON (p < 0.05). The essential oil blend improved the superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activities and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC), but decreased the 8-hydroxy deoxyguanosine content in serum on d 14 (p < 0.05). Decreased malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl content were observed on d 28 in comparison with CON (p < 0.05). The mucosa in the jejunum of pigs fed EO had greater T-AOC, SOD levels, and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activities than that of pigs fed CON (p < 0.05). Pigs fed EO and AB had greater GSH-Px activity in the liver tissue than pigs fed CON (p < 0.05). Not only did jejunal and ileal mucosa have EO upregulated SOD1 mRNA expression (p < 0.05), this was also the case in liver tissue. GPx1 expression in the ileal mucosa and GPx4 expression in the liver tissue were higher for pigs fed EO when compared to those fed CON (p < 0.05). Collectively, a dietary essential oil blend supplementation, which has natural antimicrobial properties, could enhance growth performance and decrease diarrhea prevalence in weaned pigs through increases in antioxidative capacity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats
Animals 2019, 9(10), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100832 - 19 Oct 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 11253
Abstract
The use of CBD-rich hemp products is becoming popular among pet owners with no long-term safety data related to consumption in adult dogs and cats. The purpose of this study was to determine the single-dose oral pharmacokinetics of CBD, and to provide a [...] Read more.
The use of CBD-rich hemp products is becoming popular among pet owners with no long-term safety data related to consumption in adult dogs and cats. The purpose of this study was to determine the single-dose oral pharmacokinetics of CBD, and to provide a preliminary assessment of safety and adverse effects during 12-week administration using a hemp-based product in healthy dogs and cats. Eight of each species were provided a 2 mg/kg total CBD concentration orally twice daily for 12 weeks with screening of single-dose pharmacokinetics in six of each species. Pharmacokinetics revealed a mean maximum concentration (Cmax) of 301 ng/mL and 43 ng/mL, area under the curve (AUC) of 1297 ng-h/mL and 164 ng-h/mL, and time to maximal concentration (Tmax) of 1.4 h and 2 h, for dogs and cats, respectively. Serum chemistry and CBC results showed no clinically significant alterations, however one cat showed a persistent rise in alanine aminotransferase (ALT) above the reference range for the duration of the trial. In healthy dogs and cats, an oral CBD-rich hemp supplement administered every 12 h was not detrimental based on CBC or biochemistry values. Cats do appear to absorb or eliminate CBD differently than dogs, showing lower serum concentrations and adverse effects of excessive licking and head-shaking during oil administration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Article
Dietary Supplementation of 25-Hydroxycholecalciferol Improves Livability in Broiler Breeder Hens-Amelioration of Cardiac Pathogenesis and Hepatopathology
Animals 2019, 9(10), 770; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9100770 - 08 Oct 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
A supplement of 69 μg 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH-D3)/kg feed increased livability in feed restricted (R-hens) broiler breeder hens by 9.9% and by 65.6% in hens allowed ad libitum feed intake (Ad-hens) in a feeding trial from age 26–60 weeks. Hens with higher bodyweight and/or [...] Read more.
A supplement of 69 μg 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25-OH-D3)/kg feed increased livability in feed restricted (R-hens) broiler breeder hens by 9.9% and by 65.6% in hens allowed ad libitum feed intake (Ad-hens) in a feeding trial from age 26–60 weeks. Hens with higher bodyweight and/or adiposity suffered sudden death (SD) earlier in conjunction with compromised heart rhythms and over-ventilation. In the study with the same flock of hens, we demonstrate that 25-OH-D3 improved hen’s livability and heart health by ameliorating systemic hypoxia, acidosis, and cardiac pathological hypertrophy through calcineurin-NFAT4c signaling and MHC-β expression in association with reduced plasma triacylglycerol and hepatic steatosis and fibrosis (p < 0.05). In contrast to live hens sampled at 29, 35, and 47 weeks, SD hens exhibited severe cardiac hypertrophy that was either progressive (Ad-groups) or stable (R-groups). Actual and relative liver weights in SD hens from any group declined as the study progressed. Heart weight correlated significantly to total and relative liver weights in SD-hens of both R- and Ad-groups. In contrast to normal counterparts sampled at 35 and 47 weeks, R-hens exhibiting cardiac hypertrophy experienced severe hypoxia and acidosis, with increased bodyweight, absolute and relative weights of liver and heart, hepatic and plasma triacylglycerol content, and cardiac arrhythmia (p < 0.05). The present results demonstrate that pathological cardiac hypertrophy and functional failure are causative factors of SD and this pathogenic progression is accelerated by hepatopathology, particularly during the early age. Increased feed efficiency with rapid gains in BW and fat increase hens’ risk for hypoxia, irreversible cardiac hypertrophy, and arrhythmias that cause functional compromise and SD. Additional supplementation of 69 mg/kg feed of 25-OH-D3 to the basal diet is effective to ameliorate cardiac pathogenesis and prevent SD in broiler breeder hens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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Review

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Review
The Milk Thistle Seed Cakes and Hempseed Cakes are Potential Feed for Poultry
Animals 2020, 10(8), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10081384 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
The aims of this work were to summarize the nutritional value of the milk thistle seed cakes and hempseed cakes and describe the influence on selected performance parameters, metabolism and animal health from inclusion of these non-traditional feeds into diets. It seems more [...] Read more.
The aims of this work were to summarize the nutritional value of the milk thistle seed cakes and hempseed cakes and describe the influence on selected performance parameters, metabolism and animal health from inclusion of these non-traditional feeds into diets. It seems more appropriate to apply the extract of the bioactive substances complex to the livestock diets than addition of expellers or other forms of plants processing. The seed expellers, etc. mostly worsened the chickens’ performance parameters with higher doses in diets, while most of the work using the extract yields had positive results on animal performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutraceuticals and Animal Physiology: Performance and Welfare)
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