Egg storage duration and hatch window affect gene expression of nutrient transporters and intestine morphological parameters of early hatched broiler chicks
In recent years, researchers have given emphasis on the differences in physiological parameters between early and late hatched chicks within a hatch window. Considering the importance of intestine development in newly hatched chicks, however, changes in gene expression of nutrient transporters in the jejunum of early hatched chicks within a hatch window have not been studied yet. This study was conducted to determine the effects of egg storage duration before incubation and hatch window on intestinal development and expression of PepT1 (H+-dependent peptide transporter) and SGLT1 (sodium-glucose co-transporter) genes in the jejunum of early hatched broiler chicks within a 30 h of hatch window. A total of 1218 eggs obtained from 38-week-old Ross 308 broiler breeder flocks were stored for 3 (ES3) or 14 days (ES14) and incubated at the same conditions. Eggs were checked between 475 and 480 h of incubation and 40 chicks from each egg storage duration were weighed; chick length and rectal temperature were measured. The chicks were sampled to evaluate morphological parameters and PepT1 and SGLT1 expression. The remaining chicks that hatched between 475 and 480 h were placed back in the incubator and the same measurements were conducted with those chicks at the end of hatch window at 510 h of incubation. Chick length, chick dry matter content, rectal temperature and weight of small intestine segments increased, whereas chick weight decreased during the hatch window. The increase in the jejunum length and villus width and area during the hatch window were higher for ES3 than ES14 chicks. PepT1 expression was higher for ES3 chicks compared with ES14. There was a 10.2 and 17.6-fold increase in PepT1 and SGLT1 expression of ES3 chicks at the end of hatch window, whereas it was only 2.3 and 3.3-fold, respectively, for ES14 chicks. These results suggested that egg storage duration affected development of early hatched chicks during 30 h of hatch window. It can be concluded that the ES14 chicks would be less efficiently adapted to absorption process for carbohydrates and protein than those from ES3 at the end of the hatch window.