Low-calcium diets increase duodenal mRNA expression of calcium and phosphorus transporters and claudins but compromise growth performance irrespective of microbial phytase inclusion in broilers

Y.X. Hu, J. van Harn, W.H. Hendriks, J. van Baal, M.A. Dijkslag, M.M. van Krimpen, P. Bikker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The hypothesis that dietary inclusion of microbial phytase improves apparent calcium (Ca) digestibility thereby allowing a lower dietary Ca inclusion without compromising growth performance was tested. One-day-old male Ross 308 broilers (25 birds/pen, 9 pens/treatment) were assigned to 8 experimental diets containing one of 4 dietary Ca to retainable P (rP) ratios (1.3, 1.8, 2.3, and 2.8) with (1,000 FTU/kg) or without microbial phytase. On d 21 to 23, digesta from different intestinal segments of 8 birds per pen were collected to determine apparent Ca and P digestibility. Mid duodenal mucosa was collected for expression of Ca (CaBP-D28k, PMCA1) and P (NaPi-IIb, PiT-1, PiT-2, and XPR1) transporters by RT-qPCR. Dietary phytase inclusion in low Ca/rP diets increased Ca digestibility in the distal ileum (Pinteraction = 0.023) but not the proximal or distal jejunum. Broilers receiving the lowest Ca/rP displayed the lowest body weight gain, highest feed conversion ratio (P < 0.001), and lowest tibia strength, irrespective of dietary phytase inclusion. Incremental dietary Ca/rP linearly reduced P digestibility to a greater extent in the absence of phytase in the distal jejunum and ileum (Pinteraction = 0.021 and 0.001, respectively). Incremental dietary Ca/rP linearly reduced serum P more in phytase-free diets (Pinteraction < 0.001), and lowered duodenal expression of P transporters NaPi-IIb, PiT-2, and XPR1 (P = 0.052, 0.071 and 0.028, respectively). Incremental dietary Ca/rP linearly increased (P < 0.001) serum Ca irrespective of phytase inclusion, accompanied by a lower (P < 0.001) duodenal expression of Ca transporters CaSR, CaBP-D28k and PMCA1 and Ca-pore forming claudins CLDN-2 and CLDN-12. Dietary phytase increased (P = 0.026) NaPi-IIb but reduced (P = 0.029) CLDN-2 expression. Incremental Ca/rP reduced Ca and P digestibility, increased serum Ca, lowered serum P and inhibited mRNA levels of Ca and P-related transporters, indicating that these transporters and CLDN contribute to the observed effect of dietary Ca and phytase on Ca and P absorption. Despite the improvement in Ca digestibility, dietary phytase did not restore the compromised growth performance and tibia strength of broilers fed a Ca-deficient diet, leading to rejection of the hypothesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101488
JournalPoultry Science
Volume100
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Keywords

  • broilers
  • Ca and P digestibility
  • intestinal gene expression
  • paracellular pathway
  • transcellular pathway

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