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Effect of chronic oxidative/corticosterone-induced stress on ascorbic acid metabolism and total antioxidant capacity in chickens (Gallus gallus domesticus)

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The consequences of chronic corticosterone-induced stress (CCIS) on ascorbic acid (AsA) metabolism in chickens, an animal that syntheses the vitamin, are not known. This study was conducted to determine whether CCIS alters AsA synthesis, as measured byl-gulonolactone oxidase (GLO) activity, tissue AsA, lipid peroxides and tissue total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Stress was induced by dietary administration of corticosterone from 2 to 4 weeks of age and measurements were made at 0, 7 and 14 days post-treatment. Ascorbic acid synthesis was not influenced by CCIS but hepatic, cardiac, renal, bursal and duodenal AsA concentrations were significantly decreased and plasma TAC and uric acid concentrations were significantly elevated. Stress caused significant hepatomegaly and hepatic lipidosis but hepatic peroxides were not elevated despite the slight decrease in hepatic TAC. Tissue TAC varied in different organs. It was markedly elevated in the kidney, reduced by 49% in the spleen, and changes were not detected in the heart and duodenum even though AsA concentration was significantly decreased in all tissues. We conclude that CCIS caused a significant reduction in tissue AsA concentration but did not inhibit GLO activity. The change in AsA concentration was associated with increase, decrease or no change in TAC in tissues examined. The findings suggest that CCIS may alter AsA recycling, influx or turnover in different tissues of chickens.
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Keywords: antioxidant capacity; ascorbic acid; chicken; corticosterone; gulono lactone oxidase

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA, 2:  Department of Applied Economics and Statistics, Clemson University, Clemson, SC, USA, and 3:  South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, Hartsville, SC, USA

Publication date: 2007-08-01

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