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Effect of pinealectomy and exogenous melatonin administration on digestive enzymes and broiler performance

Division of Physiology and Reproduction
Central Avian Research Institute Izatnagar - 243 122(UP)


Melatonin a neurohormone synthesized primarily in pineal gland is also produced by some extra pineal tissues like gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and retina. The melatonin of GIT has both autocrine and paracrine functions but the actual role of gut melatonin in chicken digestive system is not known. An attempt was made in this study to understand the role of gut MT on digestive physiology and performance of broiler chicken. 144 day old chicks were divided into three groups i.e. control, sham operated and pinealectomised and kept under continuous light with standard management conditions. Half of birds from each group were supplemented with exogenous melatonin @ 5ppm while the other half received a placebo up to 20 days. Experimental birds were sacrificed at day 1, 10 and 20 to collect jejunum. Digestive enzymes amylase, lipase, pepsin and trypsin were estimated in jejunal mucosal homogenate. Results indicated that pinealectomy did not produce any variation while exogenous melatonin supplementation produced a significant increase (P<0.05) in amylase and trypsin level. Feed conversion ratio in melatonin supplemented groups was also better compared to non supplemented groups suggesting that exogenous melatonin has a positive effect on some digestive enzymes and feed conversion ratio of chicks.

Source : IPSACON-2005
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