Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Anti-inflammatory and antioxidative phytogenic substances against secret killers in poultry : current status and prospects

Chronic stress is recognized as a secret killer in poultry. It is associated with systemic inflammation due to cytokine release, dysbiosis, and the so-called leaky gut syndrome, which mainly results from oxidative stress reactions that damage the barrier function of the cells lining the gut wall. Poultry, especially the genetically selected broiler breeds, frequently suffer from these chronic stress symptoms when exposed to multiple stressors in their growing environments. Since oxidative stress reactions and inflammatory damages are multi-stage and long-term processes, overshooting immune reactions and their down-stream effects also negatively affect the animal’s microbiota, and finally impair its performance and commercial value. Means to counteract oxidative stress in poultry and other animals are, therefore, highly welcome. Many phytogenic substances, including flavonoids and phenolic compounds, are known to exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. In this review, firstly, the main stressors in poultry, such as heat stress, mycotoxins, dysbiosis and diets that contain oxidized lipids that trigger oxidative stress and inflammation, are discussed, along with the key transcription factors involved in the related signal transduction pathways. Secondly, the most promising phytogenic substances and their current applications to ameliorate oxidative stress and inflammation in poultry are highlighted.

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