Two experiments were conducted to determine the effects of vitamin E (VE) and Arginine (ARG) on humoral and cellular immunity of broiler chickens, with 2 levels of ARG: normal (NARG, 1.2% in the feed) and high ARG (HARG, additional 0.3% ARG in the drinking water); and 3 levels of VE (40, 80, and 400 IU / kg feed). A corn-soybean meal diet and water were provided ad libitum throughout the study. Humoral immunity was measured as antibody responses to an i.p. injection of sheep red blood cells (SRBC, 10% solution) at d 25 followed by agglutination assay 4, 8, and 16 d after injection (Experiment 1). Cell-mediated immune response was assessed by the cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity test to phytohemagglutinin (PHA)-P at d 17 (Experiment 1) and PHA-M at d 41 (Experiment 1 and 2). Four d after SRBC injection the antibody titers (log2) were higher in HARG than in NARG birds (P < 0.01), and in VE-80 compared with VE-40 and VE-400 birds (P < 0.001). At 8 and 16 d the antibody titers were not different between ARG levels, but the VE-80 birds maintained higher antibody titers (P < 0.001) than VE-40 and VE-80 birds. Naive birds fed HARG showed a higher response than NARG birds (P < 0.05) to PHA-P at d 17 and to PHA-M at d 41, but after a second exposure ARG levels did not have a significant effect. Birds fed VE-400 had a lower response to PHA than birds fed VE-40 and VE-80 birds (P < 0.001) at d 41. These results show that high levels of ARG accelerate antibody production whereas VE at 80 IU kg / feed maintains a proper immune function over time, suggesting that ARG and VE may have complimentary effects on the immune function and health of broiler chickens.
How to cite this article
Saule Abdukalykova and Ciro A. Ruiz-Feria, 2006. Arginine and Vitamin E Improve the Cellular and Humoral Immune Response of Broiler Chickens. International Journal of Poultry Science, 5: 121-127.