Incorporation of labeled methionine as a tissue tracer in broiler chickens


The objective of this study was to evaluate the process of L-methionine incorporation in the blood plasma, liver, breast muscle, and abdominal fat of 35- to 59-d-old broiler chickens using the carbon stable isotope (12C and 13C) technique for the estimation of methionine requirements. In this experiment, 51 male broiler chickens orally received a solution of L-[13C1] methionine (92 atm % 13C) at 29 µmol/kg live weight/h for 6 h. Three birds were sacrificed for tissue collection at times 0 h (control), 0.5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 12, 24, 48, 72, 96, 120, 144, 168, and 336 h after the administration of the first dose. Tissue L-[13C1] methionine incorporation mass and percentage results were analyzed using Minitab 16 statistical software. Except for abdominal fat, tissue methionine levels gradually increased after the administration of the methionine solution. The calculated half-lives of methionine in the blood plasma, liver, and breast muscle were 2.52, 1.36, and 3.57 h, respectively, suggesting a greater rate of methionine incorporation in the liver, followed by blood plasma and breast muscle. The isotopic dilution showed that 2.81, 4.79, and 23.64% of the administered L-methionine were retained in the blood plasma, liver, and breast muscle, respectively. The methionine requirements of finisher broilers may be estimated using the carbon isotope technique, and approximately 3, 5, and 24% methionine is used for the synthesis of blood plasma, liver, and breast muscle, respectively, at the evaluated dose.



Isotopic dilution, Labeled isotopes, Turnover

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Revista Brasileira de Ciencia Avicola, v. 18, n. 4, p. 719-724, 2016.