Publications by authors named "Xiyi Hu"

9 Publications

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Effects of Dietary Energy Level on Performance, Plasma Parameters, and Central AMPK Levels in Stressed Broilers.

Front Vet Sci 2021 28;8:681858. Epub 2021 May 28.

Department of Animal Science, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, China.

This study aimed to characterize the effects of diets with different energy levels on the growth performance, plasma parameters, and central AMPK signaling pathway in broilers under dexamethasone (DEX)-induced stress. A total of 216 1-day-old male broiler chickens were allocated to groups fed with high (HED), National Research Council-recommended (control), or low (LED) energy diets. At 10 days old, chickens were treated with or without dexamethasone (DEX, 2 mg/kg body weight) for 3 consecutive days. HED increased broiler average daily gain (ADG) at 10 days old, compared with the LED ( < 0.05), while average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion rate (FCR) decreased as the dietary energy level increased ( < 0.05). Chickens fed a HED had higher total protein (TP) content, albumin (ALB), glucose (GLU), total cholesterol (TCHO), high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, compared with the control group ( < 0.05). At 13 days old, DEX decreased ADG and increased FCR in broilers fed with different energy diets ( < 0.05). The DEX-HED group had a higher ADFI than non-DEX treated HED group chickens. In addition, TP, ALB, triglycerides (TG), TCHO, HDL, and LDL content levels in the DEX group were higher than those in the control group ( < 0.05). The uric acid (UA) content of the LED group was higher than that of the HED group ( < 0.05). Further, gene expression levels of liver kinase B1, AMP-activated protein kinase α1, neuropeptide Y, and GC receptor in the hypothalamus were increased in chickens treated with DEX ( < 0.05). There was a trend toward interaction between plasma TCHO and hypothalamic LKB1 expression (0.05 < < 0.1). In conclusion, this study suggests that HED improves growth performance, plasma glucose and total cholesterol at 10 days old broilers, but had no significant effect on performance, plasma parameters, and central AMPK in stressed broilers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2021.681858DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8192699PMC
May 2021

The AMPK-mTOR signaling pathway is involved in regulation of food intake in the hypothalamus of stressed chickens.

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol 2021 Aug 12;258:110979. Epub 2021 May 12.

Department of Animal Science, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong 271018, China. Electronic address:

Glucocorticoids (GCs) can stimulate the appetite and AMPK in broilers. The activation of hypothalamic mTOR has been proposed as an important anorexigenic signal. However, inhibitory effect of AMPK activity on appetite and AMPK downstream signaling pathway under stress has not been reported. In this study, we performed an intracerebroventricular (icv) injection of compound C, an AMPK inhibitor, in GC-treated birds to explore the regulatory mechanism on appetite and AMPK downstream signaling pathway. A total of 48 7-day-old broilers, which had received an icv cannula, were randomly subjected to one of two treatments: subcutaneous injection of dexamethasone (DEX) or saline. After 3 days of continuous DEX injection, chicks of each group received an icv injection with either compound C (6 μg/2 μL) or vehicle (dimethyl sulfoxide, 2 μL). The results showed that body weight gain was reduced by the DEX treatment. Compared with the control, icv injection of compound C reduced feed intake at 0.5-1.5 h. In the DEX-treated group, the inhibitory effect of compound C on appetite remained apparent at 0.5-1 h. The DEX treatment increased the gene expression of liver kinase B1 (LKB1), neuropeptide Y (NPY), and decreased p-mTOR protein level. In stressed broilers, inhibition of AMPK relieved the decreased mTOR activity. A significant interaction was noted in DEX and compound C on protein expression of phospho-AMPK. Taken together, in stressed broilers, the central injection of compound C could inhibit central AMPK activity and reduce appetite, in which the AMPK/mTOR signaling pathway might be involved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2021.110979DOI Listing
August 2021

The mixed application of organic and inorganic selenium shows better effects on incubation and progeny parameters.

Poult Sci 2021 Feb 2;100(2):1132-1141. Epub 2020 Nov 2.

Department of Animal Science and Technology, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong 271018, China. Electronic address:

This experiment aims to study the effects of dietary selenium (Se) sources on the production performance, reproductive performance, and maternal effect of breeder laying hens. A total of 2,112 Hyline brown breeder laying hens of 42 wk of age were selected and randomly divided into 3 groups, with 8 repeats in each group and 88 chickens per repeat. The sources of dietary Se were sodium selenite (SS, added at 0.3 mg/kg), L-selenomethionine (L-SM, added at 0.2 mg/kg), and combination of SS and L-SM (SS 0.15 mg/kg + L-SM 0.15 mg/kg). The pretest period was 7 d, and the breeding period was 49 d. Compared with 0.3 mg/kg SS, the addition of 0.2 mg/kg L-SM in the diet significantly increased the hatchability (P < 0.05) and the Se content (P < 0.05) in egg yolk and chicken embryo tissues and improved the activity of yolk glutathione peroxidase (GSH-px) effectively (P < 0.05). Treatment with 0.2 mg/kg L-SM also reduced the content of yolk malondialdehyde (P < 0.05) and significantly improved the antioxidant performance of 1-day-old chicks, as manifested by increased activity of antioxidant enzymes (GSH-px, total antioxidant capacity and the ability to inhibit hydroxyl radicals) in serum, pectoral, heart, and liver (P < 0.05). This treatment decreased the malondialdehyde content (P < 0.05) and increased the expression of liver glutathione peroxidase 4 and deiodinase 1 mRNA (P < 0.05). Adding L-SM to the diets of chickens increased the hatchability of breeder eggs as well as the amount of Se deposited and antioxidant enzyme activity in breeder eggs and embryos. Compared with SS, L-SM was more effectively transferred from the mother to the embryo and offspring, showing efficient maternal nutrition. For breeder diets, the combination of organic and inorganic Se (0.15 mg/kg SS + 0.15 mg/kg L-SM) is an effective nutrient supplementation technology program for effectively improving the breeding performance of breeders and the antioxidant performance and health level of offspring chicks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2020.10.037DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7858146PMC
February 2021

Effects of dietary corticosterone on the central adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway in broiler chickens.

J Anim Sci 2020 Jul;98(7)

Department of Biosystems, Division of Animal and Human Health Engineering, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Glucocorticoids (GCs) induce the activation of the central adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway in birds. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effects of corticosterone (CORT) supplemented in diet on the central AMPK signaling pathway in broilers. The average daily gain was reduced by CORT treatment, and the average daily feed intake remained unchanged. Plasma glucose, triglyceride, total cholesterol, and CORT contents were increased by CORT administration. In addition, CORT treatment decreased the relative weights of heart, spleen, and bursa and increased the relative weights of liver and abdominal fat. The glycogen contents in the liver and breast muscle were higher in the chicks treated with CORT. CORT treatment upregulated the gene expression of mammalian target of rapamycin, glucocorticoid receptor, AMPKα2, neuropeptide Y(NPY), liver kinase B1 (LKB1), AMPKα1, and fatty acid synthase in the hypothalamus. Moreover, CORT treatment increased the protein levels of acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) phosphorylation and total AMPK and phosphorylated AMPK in the hypothalamus. Hence, CORT administration in the diet activated the LKB1-AMPK-NPY/ACC signaling pathway in the hypothalamus of broiler.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skaa202DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7373321PMC
July 2020

Effects of dietary energy level on appetite and central adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in broilers.

J Anim Sci 2019 Nov;97(11):4488-4495

Department of Animal Science, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, China.

Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) acts as a sensor of cellular energy changes and is involved in the control of food intake. A total of 216 1-d-old broilers were randomly allotted into 3 treatments with 6 replicates per treatment and 12 broilers in each cage. The dietary treatments included 1) high-energy (HE) diet (3,500 kcal/kg), 2) normal-energy (NE) diet (3,200 kcal/kg), and 3) low-energy (LE) diet (2,900 kcal/kg). The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of dietary energy level on appetite and the central AMPK signal pathway. The results showed that a HE diet increased average daily gain (ADG), whereas a LE diet had the opposite effect (P < 0.05, N = 6). The average daily feed intake (ADFI) of the chickens fed the LE diet was significantly higher than that of the control (P < 0.05, N = 6). Overall, the feed conversion rate gradually decreased with increasing dietary energy level (P < 0.05, N = 6). Moreover, the chickens fed the LE and HE diets demonstrated markedly improved urea content compared with the control group (P < 0.0001, N = 8). The triglyceride (TG) content in the LE group was obviously higher than that in the HE group but showed no change compared with the control (P = 0.0678, N = 8). The abdominal fat rate gradually increased with increased dietary energy level (P = 0.0927, N = 8). The HE group showed downregulated gene expression levels of liver kinase B1 (LKB1), neuropeptide Y (NPY), cholecystokinin (CCK), and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the hypothalamus compared with the control group (P < 0.05, N = 8). However, LE treatment significantly increased the mRNA level of AMP-activated protein kinase α2 (AMPKα2) compared with other groups (P = 0.0110, N = 8). In conclusion, a HE diet inhibited appetite and central AMPK signaling. In contrast, a LE diet activated central AMPK and appetite. Overall, the central AMPK signal pathway and appetite were modulated in accordance with the energy level in the diet to regulate nutritional status and maintain energy homeostasis in birds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jas/skz312DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827410PMC
November 2019

Gas6 attenuates lipopolysaccharide‑induced TNF‑α expression and apoptosis in H9C2 cells through NF‑κB and MAPK inhibition via the Axl/PI3K/Akt pathway.

Int J Mol Med 2019 Sep 12;44(3):982-994. Epub 2019 Jul 12.

Emergency Department, The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, P.R. China.

Therapeutic agents used to treat sepsis‑induced cardiac dysfunction are designed to suppress tumor necrosis factor (TNF)‑α release and inhibit cell apoptosis. Exogenous administration of growth arrest‑specific 6 (Gas6) exerts several biological and pharmacological effects; however, the role of Gas6 in sepsis‑induced myocardial dysfunction remains unclear. In this study, H9C2 cardiomyocytes were stimulated with LPS (10 µg/ml) to mimic septic cardiac dysfunction and Gas6 (100 ng/ml) was applied exogenously. Subsequently, mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor (NF)‑κB activation, TNF‑α expression, and apoptosis in the presence or absence of TP‑0903 (15 nM) and Wortmannin (3 nM) were evaluated. The morphological alterations of H9C2 cells were visualized by phase‑contrast microscopy. Cell viability was determined using the Cell Counting kit 8 assay and lactate dehydrogenase release, and TNF‑α release was analyzed by ELISA analysis. Cell apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry and TUNEL assay. Nuclear morphological alterations were detected by Hoechst staining and caspase‑3 activity was measured using biochemical methods. The expression levels of Bax and Bcl‑2, and the phosphorylation and expression levels of Axl, Akt, IκB‑α, p65, c‑Jun N‑terminal protein kinase (JNK), extracellular signal‑regulated kinase (ERK) and p38 were determined by western blotting. Furthermore, immunofluorescence analysis was performed to visualize translocation of NF‑κB p65. The results demonstrated that Gas6 suppressed TNF‑α release and inhibited cell apoptosis, and attenuated nuclear factor (NF)‑κB and mitogen‑activated protein kinase (MAPK) activation via the Axl/PI3K/Akt pathway. Furthermore, the cardioprotective properties of Gas6 on the suppression of LPS‑induced TNF‑α release and apoptosis were abolished by treatment with TP‑0903 (an Axl inhibitor) and Wortmannin (a PI3K inhibitor). Pretreatment with TP‑0903 and Wortmannin abrogated the effects of Gas6 on phosphorylated‑IκB‑α, IκB‑α, NF‑κB, ERK1/2, JNK and p38 MAPK. These findings suggested that activation of Axl/PI3K/Akt signaling by Gas6 may inhibit LPS‑induced TNF‑α expression and apoptosis, as well as MAPK and NF‑κB activation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3892/ijmm.2019.4275DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6657963PMC
September 2019

Effects of glucocorticoids on lipid metabolism and AMPK in broiler chickens' liver.

Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 2019 Jun 19;232:23-30. Epub 2019 Feb 19.

Department of Animal Science, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong 271018, China. Electronic address:

Adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism in animals. In this study, we examined whether any cross talk exists between glucocorticoids and AMPK in the regulation of the liver bile acid biosynthesis pathway. Dexamethasone treatment decreased the growth performance of broiler chickens. The liver mRNA levels of fatty acid transport protein (FATP-1), farnesoid X receptor (FXR), AMPK alpha 1 subunit (AMPKα1), and glucocorticoid receptor were significantly upregulated in DEX-treated broilers; the gene expression of liver cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) was significantly downregulated. The protein level of liver CYP7A1 was significantly decreased by DEX treatment at both 24 and 72 h, while the protein level of p-AMPK/ t-AMPK stayed unchanged. In the in vitro cultured hepatocytes, compound C pretreatment blocked the increase in CYP7A1 protein level by DEX and significantly suppressed FATP-1, SREBP-1c, FXR, and CYP7A1 gene expression stimulated by DEX. Compound C treatment significantly reduces the protein level of p-AMPK, and the combination of compound C and DEX significantly reduces the protein level of t-AMPK. Thus, glucocorticoids affected liver AMPK and the bile acid synthesis signal pathway, and AMPK might be involved in the glucocorticoid effect of liver bile acid synthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpb.2019.02.001DOI Listing
June 2019

Effect of Zinc on Appetite Regulatory Peptides in the Hypothalamus of Salmonella-Challenged Broiler Chickens.

Biol Trace Elem Res 2016 Jul 5;172(1):228-233. Epub 2015 Dec 5.

Department of Animal Science, Shandong Agricultural University, Taian, Shandong, 271018, China.

The effects of dietary Zinc (Zn) supplementation on the gene expression of appetite regulatory peptides were investigated in Salmonella-infected broiler chickens. Broiler chickens (Arbor Acres, 1 day old) were allocated randomly into 24 pens of 10 birds. The chickens from 12 pens were fed with basal diet and the other with basal diet supplemented with Zn (ZnSO4·H2O, 120 mg/kg). At 5 days of age, the chickens were divided into 4 treatments with 6 pens: basal diet; basal diet and Salmonella challenge; Zn-supplemented diet; Zn-supplemented diet and Salmonella challenge. At 42 days of age, the hypothalamus from 6 chickens per treatment (1 chicken per pen) was individually collected for gene expression determination. Results showed that dietary supplementation of Zn reduced the gene expression of hypothalamic ghrelin and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) (P < 0.05). Salmonella infection upregulated the messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) and TNF-α. Zn supplementation and Salmonella inoculation were significantly correlated with the mRNA levels of toll-like receptor 2-1 (P < 0.05). However, neither dietary Zn supplementation nor Salmonella inoculation had significant effect on hypothalamic agouti-related protein, cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript, and pro-opiomelanocortin. This study shows that dietary Zn supplementation promoted orexigenic appetite regulatory peptides and reduced the expression of the inflammatory cytokine TNF-α in the hypothalamus of Salmonella-challenged broilers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12011-015-0582-2DOI Listing
July 2016

Effects of feed deprivation on the AMPK signaling pathway in skeletal muscle of broiler chickens.

Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol 2016 Jan 21;191:146-54. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

Laboratory of Livestock Physiology, Department of Biosystems, KU Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg, 30, 3001 Leuven, Belgium.

The 5'-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) plays a key role in rapid metabolic adaptations to maintain energy homeostasis in poultry. It remains unclear if AMPK is involved in muscular energy metabolism in broiler chickens. Hence, in the present study, seven-day-old male broilers were equally divided into three groups: fed ad libitum (control); feed-deprived for 24h (S24); feed-deprived for 24h and then refed for 24h (S24R24). Compared to the control group, the plasma levels of glucose, insulin, T3 and triglycerides in the S24 group were significantly lower (P<0.05), whereas the uric acid levels were significantly higher (P<0.01). Except for glucose, refeeding for 24h reversed the fasting-induced alterations in plasma metabolite. Fasting decreased the liver kinase B1 (LKB1), AMPK alpha 2 subunit (AMPKα2), and fatty acid synthase (FAS) mRNA levels (P<0.05) in M. pectoralis major (PM). Feed deprivation did not affect the phosphorylated AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K) in PM (P>0.05), but upregulated carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) gene expression and increased phosphorylated LKB1 (0.050.05). However, refeeding after 24h of fasting increased the phosphorylated mTOR level in BF muscle which was in parallel with increased plasma insulin concentration. It was likely that increased phospho-mTOR level in the BF muscle was due to the higher sensitivity of BF to insulin. Together, the results suggested that the AMPK signaling pathway might be involved in the energy metabolism alterations in the skeletal muscles of broiler chickens and was also dependent upon the muscle fiber type. Furthermore, the regulatory effects of AMPK on energy metabolism in muscles of broiler chickens might be mediated by the AMPK/FAS pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpb.2015.10.007DOI Listing
January 2016