A wire-flooring model for inducing lameness in broilers: evaluation of probiotics as a prophylactic treatment.
Economic losses due to an increase of leg disorders in broilers have become a major concern of the poultry industry. Despite the efforts to reduce skeletal abnormalities in chickens, insufficient progress has been made. Bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO) is one of the main disorders that affect bone integrity in broilers. However, the genetic pathways and genes involved in most bone problems, including BCO, remains unclear. In this study, femoral samples from male broilers with 45 days of age affected or not with BCO were used to compare the relative expression with a reverse transcription real time PCR approach of 13 candidate genes: SPP1 (osteopontin), TNFRSF11B (osteoprotegerin), SPARC (osteonectin), CALB1 (calbidin 1), CALM (Calmodulin 2), IBSP (sialoprotein), COL1A2 (collagen, type I, α 2), BMP2 (bone morphogenetic protein 2), BMP3 (bone morphogenetic protein 3), RANKL (κ-B nuclear factor ligand), SMAD1 (SMAD family member 1), LEPR (leptin receptor) and RUNX2 (related transcription factor Runt 2). Differential expression test between affected and non-affected groups was performed using the REST software. The RUNX2 and SPARC genes were downregulated (P<0.05) in the affected group, with reduced expression of fourfold when compared with the non-affected group. This result indicates that the downregulation of RUNX2 and SPARC can contribute to an increased incidence of BCO in broilers.