Cytokine responses in broiler lines that differ in susceptibility to malabsorption syndrome

J.M.J. Rebel, F.R.M. Balk, W.J.A. Boersma

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1. Based on earlier studies it was hypothesised that there is an immunological basis for the differences in susceptibility to malabsorption syndrome (MAS). A study was conducted to investigate base-line and MAS-induced cytokine levels in the intestine of broilers that differ in MAS susceptibility. 2. The transcription of cytokine mRNA in the intestine was quantified using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. At different time points after disease induction the intestines of broilers were investigated for expression of interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-18 and interferon (IFN)-?. Age-matched non-MAS-induced chickens served as controls. 3. Control chickens from a MAS-resistant line had higher concentrations of mRNA for IL-2, IL-6, IL-18 and IFN-? in the small intestine while no difference between the lines was found for IL-8. After induction of MAS the relative amounts of IL-2, IL-6, IL-8 and IFN-? mRNA increased more in the intestines of the susceptible line than in the gut of the resistant line. 4. We suggest that differences in cytokine mRNA in the base-line situation and in MAS-induced conditions indicate a difference in immune response regulation in the two broiler lines. This difference in response could lead to the difference in susceptibility to MAS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)679-686
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • recombinant chicken interleukin-2
  • intestinal-mucosa
  • quantification
  • proliferation
  • pathogenesis
  • recruitment
  • apoptosis
  • pcr


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