The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of zinc-enriched probiotics (ZnP) on growth performance, antioxidant status, immune function, related gene expression, and morphological characteristics of Wistar rats raised under high heat stress condition during summer. 36, 6-week-old male Wistar rats were randomly divided into three groups; fed with basal diet (control), basal diet with probiotics (P), and basal diet with zinc-enriched probiotics supplementation (ZnP, 100 mg/L), for 40 consecutive days. Blood samples were collected through intracardiac method on the last day of experiment and tissues were collected from liver, heart, and kidneys. The results revealed that both P and ZnP significantly (P < 0.05) enhanced growth performance. However, ZnP remarkably increased glutathione content, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase activities but reduced malondialdehyde level in serum of the Wistar rats. The concentration of IL-2, IL-6, and IFN-γ was significantly (P < 0.05) increased with treatments of P and ZnP compared to control group while IL-10 was significantly (P < 0.05) decreased. Additionally, the expression of SOD1, SOD2, MT1, and MT2 genes was significantly (P < 0.05) up-regulated with the treatment of ZnP, but Hsp90 and Hsp70 heat shock genes were significantly (P < 0.05) down-regulated with the treatment of P and ZnP, respectively. Hematoxylin and Eosin staining showed that both P and ZnP supplementation treatments induced changes in villus height and intestinal wall thickness. In conclusion, zinc-enriched probiotics supplementation can improve the growth performance of Wistar rats under high ambient temperature through enhancing antioxidant status, immune function, related genes expression, and intestinal morphological characteristics. This product may serves as a potential nutritive supplement for Wistar rats under high heat stress conditions.
Zinc-enriched probiotics Heat stress Antioxidant status Immune function Heat shock protein Wistar rats
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RMM conceived and designed experiments and wrote the manuscript. GF and HLi designed the structure of this manuscript. JM, XXC, and KH gave some valuable advices about structure of manuscript. RMM, HE, DL, and JKB analyzed the data and revised the manuscript. RAF complied information; RMM and HL performed the experiments. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
This project is funded by the National Key R & D Program (2017YFD0501000), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31811530300), MOE Joint International Research Laboratory of Animal Health and Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Project of National Center for International Research on Animal Gut Nutrition and supported by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions (Jiangsu, China).
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