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Effects of Dietary Omega-3:Omega-6 Fatty Acid Ratios on Reproduction in Young Roosters

19 April 2015

Polyunsaturated fatty acids enhanced the reproductive performance of young male breeders in this experiment from China.

Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are necessary for the body's metabolism, growth and development.

Although PUFAs play an important role in the regulation of reproduction, their role in testis development in the rooster is unknown, according to Cheng Zhang of the Capital Normal University in Beijing and co-authors there and at Ningxia Medical University.

Their study, published in BMC Veterinary Research, was conducted to investigate the effects of omega-3/omega-6 (n-3/n-6, PUFAs) ratios on reproductive performance in young breeder roosters.

They also measured plasma levels of reproductive hormones, testis development, and reproductive hormone receptor and StAR mRNA expression were also assessed.

Although PUFAs (n-3/n-6: 1/4.15) had no significant effect on the testis index (P>0.05), the spermatogonial development and germ cell layers were increased.

Serum levels of hormones (GnRH, FSH, LH and T) on day 35 were also significantly increased by PUFAs (n-3/n-6: 1/4.15).

To investigate whether PUFAs regulate the expression of hormone receptors and StAR, real time-PCR was used to measure GnRHR, FSHR, LHR and StAR mRNA levels.

The researchers found that PUFAs significantly increased the mRNA levels of all of these genes.

They concluded that their results indicate that PUFAs enhance the reproductive performance of young roosters by increasing hormone secretion and function, the latter by up-regulating receptor expression.

Feng and co-authors added that their findings provide a sound basis for a balanced n-3/n-6 PUFA ratio being beneficial to young rooster reproduction.


Feng Y., Y. Ding, J. Liu, Y. Tian, Y. Yang, S. Guan and C. Zhang. 2015. Effects of dietary omega-3/omega-6 fatty acid ratios on reproduction in the young breeder rooster. BMC Veterinary Research. 11:73 doi:10.1186/s12917-015-0394-9

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April 2015

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