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Effects of methionine deficiencies on plasma levels of thyroid hormones, insulin-like growth factors-I and -II, liver and body weights, and feed intake in growing chickens

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We showed previously that Met deficiency at 0.25% of the diet causes elevations in plasma triiodothyronine (T3) in broilers. In the present study, plasma levels of thyroid hormones as well as insulin-like growth factors (IGF)-I and -II were measured in chicks fed 3 deficient levels of total Met. Control (0.5%) and Met-deficient diets (0.4, 0.3, and 0.2%) were fed to male broilers from 8 to 22 d of age. Additional groups of control chicks were pair-fed with the Met-deficient ones. Chicks receiving 0.4% Met increased feed intake by 10% with no significant change in body weight. The more severe Met deficiencies of 0.3 and 0.2% caused graded reductions in feed intake and weight gain. However, corresponding pair-fed control chicks were significantly heavier. These changes suggest more marked alterations in metabolic processes with 0.3 and 0.2% Met than with 0.4% Met. Liver weights were heavier in chicks fed 0.3 and 0.2% Met but not 0.4%. Plasma T3 was higher in all deficient chicks compared with the free-fed control, which was significant only with 0.3% Met. However, with 0.3 and 0.2% Met, plasma T3 was significantly elevated compared to pair-fed controls. Plasma thyroxine (T4) was lower in all deficient groups, which was significant only with 0.2% Met, whereas no significant differences occurred between deficient chicks and their pair-fed controls. Plasma IGF-I levels were not significantly different, but they were consistently lower in deficient chicks and deserve further study. Plasma IGF-II was significantly less in chicks fed 0.2% Met compared to pair-fed controls suggesting that Met deficiency interferes with IGF-II metabolism. We concluded that a deficit of dietary Met altered plasma T3 and IGF-II levels, but the effect was dependent on the degree of deficiency.
Carew, L.B. , McMurtry, J.P. , Alster, F.A.
Includes references
Poultry science 2003 Dec., v. 82, no. 12
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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