Effects of four levels of dietary linoleic acid (LA), an n-6 fatty acid, and four levels of α-linolenic acid (LNA), an n-3 fatty acid, and their interactions on immune responses in growing layer hens were studied. Immune responses were induced by injection with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) or Mycobacterium butyricum particles at 35 d of age. Antibody (Ab) responses were measured until 21 d after immunization. In addition, delayed-type hypersensitivity, lymphocyte proliferation, weekly feed intake, and BW gain were studied. At Day 7 after immunization, anti-M. butyricum titers in the M. butyricum-immunized hens were decreased by the increase of dietary LA (P < 0.05). In the period from 10 to 14 d after immunization, anti-KLH Ab titers in KLH-immunized animals were affected by the interaction of dietary LA with LNA (P < 0.01). High dietary levels of LA or LNA increased the anti-KLH Ab response. However, at high levels of dietary LA and LNA, anti-KLH Ab titers were not increased. In the same period, anti-M. butyricum Ab titers of M. butyricum-immunized hens were affected by the interaction of dietary LA with LNA (P < 0.05). At low levels of LA and LNA, increased LA levels decreased the Ab response, whereas increased LNA levels at low LA levels hardly affected the anti-M. butyricum response. At a high level of LA, increased dietary LNA increased the anti-M. butyricum response. In vitro proliferation of peripheral blood leukocytes after stimulation with concanavalin A (ConA) was higher in chickens with a high level of dietary LNA. Feed intake decreased when the dietary levels of LA or LNA increased. However, BW gain was not affected by dietary treatments. Feed conversion was more efficient in birds fed high levels of LA and LNA. The present study indicates that various factors affect the Ab responses. First, the interaction of n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is more important than the separate effects of n-3 or n-6. Second, the actions of dietary PUFA were different between antigens of a different nature. Third was the nature of the antigen affects when dietary PUFA exert their actions and the persistence of these effects. The presence of these multiple factors affecting immune responses should be considered when comparing effects of dietary PUFA on immune responses.
Sijben, J. W. C., Nieuwland, M. G. B., Parmentier, H. K., & Schrama, J. W. (2001). Interactions and antigen dependence of dietary n-3 and n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids on antibody responsiveness in growing layer hens. Poultry Science, 80(7), 885-893. https://doi.org/10.1093/ps/80.7.885