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Soy saponin improves egg-laying performance and immune function of laying hens
Journal of Animal Science and Biotechnology  (IF5.032),  Pub Date : 2021-12-30, DOI: 10.1186/s40104-021-00647-2
Li, Peng, Zhao, Yizhu, Yan, Shaojia, Song, Bocheng, Liu, Yongfa, Gao, Mingkun, Tang, Dazhi, Guo, Yuming

Soy saponin (SS), an active compound in soybean meals, has been widely studied in the medical field. However, it was considered as an anti-nutritional factor in poultry diets. The objective of this experiment was to measure the effects of dietary SS using three dietary treatments on egg-laying performance and immune function of laying hens. Birds were fed a low soybean meal basal diet (CON), a low-SS diet (50 SS) containing 50 mg/kg SS, or a high-SS diet (500 SS) containing 500 mg/kg SS for 10 weeks. At the end of the 5th and 10th week of the trial, samples were collected for analysis. Results showed that with 50 mg/kg SS supplementation, the egg production rate, feed conversion ratio (FCR), and eggshell quality tended to be improved. Serum follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and Interleukin-4 (IL-4) levels were also elevated as well as the peripheral blood LPS stimulation index, the proportion of B lymphocytes, and antibody titer of bovine serum albumin (BSA). We also found that mRNA levels of follicle stimulating hormone receptor (FSHR) in ovarian, nuclear transcription factor kappa B (NF-κB), Transforming growth factor (TGF-β) and interferon γ (IFN-γ) in spleen were up-regulated at the end of the trial. Additionally, dietary 50 mg/kg SS improved the ileal flora via up-regulating the relative abundance of Lactobacillus, Romboutsia and Lactobacillus delbrueckii. Although the immune related indicators were improved with 500 mg/kg SS supplemented, it seemed to have a negative influence on the laying-performance. Specifically, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and the ratio of IFN-γ to IL-4 were increased in the 500 SS group at the end of the trial. The mRNA levels of gonadotropin releasing hormone 1 (GnRH1) in Hypothalamus, the estrogen related receptor (ERR) in ovaries were downregulated as well as the egg production rate during the trial with 500 mg/kg SS supplemented. The egg production performance was improved by dietary supplemented with 50 mg/kg SS via increasing ovarian FSHR transcription level and serum estrogen level. A beneficial shift in intestinal microflora was recorded, and the immune function of laying hens was also improved with 50 mg/kg SS supplementation. Surprisingly, the long-term supplementation of 500 mg/kg SS exerted a negative impact on the laying performance and physiological functions of the liver of laying hens.