International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 61, Issue 12, pp 2111–2118 | Cite as

Effect of heat stress on protein utilization and nutrient transporters in meat-type chickens

  • Walid S. Habashy
  • Marie C. Milfort
  • Alberta L. Fuller
  • Youssef A. Attia
  • Romdhane Rekaya
  • Samuel E. AggreyEmail author
Original Paper


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of heat stress (HS) on digestibility of protein and fat and the expression of nutrient transporters in broilers. Forty-eight male Cobb500 chicks were used in this study. At day 14, birds were randomly divided into two groups and kept under either constant normal temperature (25 °C) or high temperature (35 °C) in individual cages. Five birds per treatment at 1 and 12 days post-treatment were euthanized, and Pectoralis major (P. major) and ileum were sampled for gene expression analysis. At day 33, ileal contents were collected and used for digestibility analysis. The total consumption and retention of protein and fat were significantly lower in the HS group compared to the control group. Meanwhile, the retention of crude protein per BWG was significantly higher in the HS group compared to the control group. In P. major and ileum tissues at day 1, transporters FATP1 and SGLT1 were down-regulated in the HS group. Meanwhile, FABP1 and PepT1 were down-regulated only in the ileum of the HS group. The converse was shown in P. major. The nutrient transporter FABP1 at day 12 post-HS was down-regulated in the P. major and ileum, but GLUT1 and PepT2 were down-regulated only in the ileum, and PepT1 was down-regulated only in the P. major compared with the control group. These changes in nutrient transporters suggest that high ambient temperature might change the ileum and P. major lipids, glucose, and oligopeptide transporters.


Feed intake Nutrient transporters Digestibility Pectoralis major 



Walid Habashy was supported by the Missions sector of the Egyptian Ministry of Higher Education.

Compliance with ethical standards

Human and animal rights

Research on live chickens met the guidelines approved by the institutional animal care and use committee of the University of Georgia.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walid S. Habashy
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marie C. Milfort
    • 1
  • Alberta L. Fuller
    • 1
  • Youssef A. Attia
    • 2
    • 3
  • Romdhane Rekaya
    • 4
  • Samuel E. Aggrey
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.NutriGenomics Laboratory, Department of Poultry ScienceUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of Animal and Poultry ProductionDamanhour UniversityDamanhourEgypt
  3. 3.Arid Land Agriculture DepartmentKing Abdulaziz UniversityJeddahSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Department of Animal and Dairy SciencesUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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