Effect of Different Fatty Acids Sources on Some Blood Factors and Interleukin Gene Expression in Finishing Lambs

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Animal Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Animal Science, Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Karaj, Iran



The current research was conducted to study the effects of different fatty acids sources in the diet on blood metabolites and hormones in finishing lambs experimentally infected with the virus that causes foot and mouth disease. A total of fifteen Sangsari male lambs with an average live weight of 48±2 kg and an average age of 8±1 month were randomly assigned to one of three dietary experimental treatments as follows: 1) Calcium soap of palm oil fatty acids (PO) as a source of palmitic acid (16:0); 2) Calcium soap of sunflower oil fatty acids (SO) as the source of linoleic acid (n-6 18:2); and 3) Calcium soap of linseed oil fatty acids (LO) as the source of α-linolenic acid (n-3 18:3). The lambs were housed in individual pens and offered the iso-caloric and iso-nitrogenous diets for 28 days including 21 days of adaptation period and 7 days of the sampling period. The results illustrated that the lowest and the highest expression of IL-4 mRNA were measured in LO and SO treatments, respectively. Expression of IL-8 mRNA was lower in LO and PO treatments when compared with SO. The highest level of glucose in LO treatment when compared with sunflower oil or palm oil. Lambs on the LO diet showed the highest blood concentration of insulin and the lowest blood concentration of glucagon when compared with lams on SO and PO diets. The highest blood contents of triiodothyronine and thyroxin hormones were measured in lambs on the LO diet when compared with other treatments. However, the concentration of blood glucose, insulin, glucagon, triiodothyronine, and thyroxin were the same between PO and SO groups. In conclusion, the findings of the current experiment confirmed that the inclusion of α-linolenic acid but not linoleic acid in the diet of virus-infected lambs suppressed pro-inflammation with lowering expression of IL-4 and IL-8 mRNA and increased blood glucose, insulin, T3, and T4 which may lead to higher weight gain and feed efficiency of virally infected lambs.


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