L-Aspartate (L-Asp), D-aspartate (D-Asp) or their chemical conjugates plays important physiological roles in regulating food intake, plasma metabolites and thermoregulation in animals. However, there are very few studies available in layers and no reports have been found in broilers. Broilers are very important commercial birds for meat production, so effects of L- or D-Asp in broilers would provide new physiological insight of this strain. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of oral administration of L- or D-Asp on feed intake, rectal temperature and some plasma metabolites in broiler chicks. Broiler chicks (5 days old) were orally administered with different doses (0, 3.75, 7.5 and 15 mmol/kg body weight) of L- or D-Asp. At 120 min after administration of L- or D-Asp, the blood was immediately collected through the jugular vein. The rectal temperature of chicks was measured at 30, 60 and 120min after administration using a digital thermometer with an accuracy of ± 0.1°C, by inserting the thermistor probe in the rectum to a depth of 2cm. A repeated-measures two-way ANOVA was applied for the analysis of feed intake and rectal temperature. Plasma metabolites were statistically analyzed by one-way ANOVA and regression equations. The study showed that oral administration of both L- and D-Asp did not alter feed intake. However, D-Asp, but not L-Asp, dose-dependently decreased the rectal temperature in chicks. It was also found that DAsp increased plasma glucose and decreased triacylglycerol concentrations. The changes in plasma metabolites further indicate that D-Asp treatment modulates the energy metabolism in broiler chicks. In conclusion, D-Asp may be a beneficial nutrient not only for layers but also for broilers, since orally administered D-Asp lowered rectal temperature without reducing feed intake.
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