Maternal diet influences gene expression in intestine of offspring in chicken (Gallus gallus)

J.M.J. Rebel, S. van Hemert, A.J.W. Hoekman, R.M. Francis, F.R.M. Balk, M.A. Smits

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The diet of the mother during pregnancy influences the onset of different diseases and health-related traits in the offspring. We investigated the influence of the mother hen diet on the intestinal gene expression pattern in the offspring. Hens received for 11 weeks either a commercial feed or a commercial feed supplemented with vitamins and minerals. The offspring of the two groups showed no changes in growth rate or feed conversion. Of this offspring, gene expression patterns in the intestine were measured at 3 and 14 days of age with an intestinal eDNA-microarray. Between the two groups, 11 genes were found to be differentially expressed both at 3 and 14 days of age. Thus, these genes were differently regulated when the intestine is developing as well as when the intestine is more mature. Genes that are differentially expressed at day 3 and/or day 14 affect intestinal turnover, proliferation and development, metabolism and feed absorption. To confirm that differences in gene expression are related to intestinal development, we investigated intestinal proliferation. This indeed also showed differences in proliferation between the two groups at day 3 and day 14 of age. The gene expression and proliferation results indicate that feed of the hens influences the functionality of intestine of the offspring at day 3 and 14 of age. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-508
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology. A, Molecular and Integrative Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • intrauterine growth-retardation
  • birth-weight
  • malabsorption-syndrome
  • blood-pressure
  • vitamin-d
  • identification
  • pregnancy
  • protein
  • acid
  • supplementation


Dive into the research topics of 'Maternal diet influences gene expression in intestine of offspring in chicken (Gallus gallus)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this