Effects of heat stress and dietary tryptophan on performance and plasma amino acid concentrations of broiler chickens

Hayford Y. Tabiri, Kan Sato, Kazuaki Takahashi, Masaaki Toyomizu, Yukio Akiba

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Two experiments were conducted to investigate the impact of high temperature and dietary tryptophan (Trp) on performance, selected organ weights and plasma free amino acid (AA) concentrations in broiler chickens. In Experiment 1, exposure to 27-33°C of chickens for 2 weeks from 2 weeks of age did not affect growth and plasma free AA concentration except for a decrease in the concentration of plasma tyrosine (Tyr). In Experiment 2, 2-week-old birds were allocated to one of three temperature treatments; 24°C (control), 36°C (heat stress, HS) and 24°C pair-fed (24PF) for 2 weeks and fed on diets containing 50, 100 and 300% of NRC requirement for Trp. Heat stress caused a reduction of weight gain and feed intake irrespective of dietary Trp levels compared with control counterparts, while feeding of 300% Trp diet did not attenuate the reduced performance by HS exposure. In groups fed the 100% Trp diets, plasma aromatic AA (AAA) and Tyr concentrations were decreased in the HS birds compared with the 24PF group. Plasma concentrations in most of AA groups were increased by HS in chickens fed the 50% Trp diet, while those were not changed by HS in chickens fed the 300% Trp diet, compared with 24PF counterparts. The plasma Trp/LNAA (LNAA=large neutral AAs, which are comprised of BCAA, AAA and Trp) ratio was increased by HS in chickens fed the 100% Trp diet, while it was decreased in chickens fed on 50% Trp diet as compared with 24PF group. From these results, it is suggested that performance and plasma amino acid profile deranged by heat stress are modulated, at least, to be relieved from the heat stress by feeding 50% Trp diet but not at all by feeding 300% Trp diet. The involvement of altered plasma AA profiles, in particular plasma Tyr concentrations and Trp/LNAA ratio, is discussed in association with the performance characteristics of HS chickens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalAsian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Feb


  • Broiler
  • Environmental Temperature
  • Plasma Amino Acid Concentration
  • Tryptophan


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