Effect of the timing of posthatch feed restrictions on broiler breast muscle development and muscle transcriptional regulatory factor gene expression.Poult Sci. 2014 Jun; 93(6):1484-94.PS
The effect of the timing of an immediate posthatch feed restriction on broiler pectoralis major muscle development was studied by applying a 20% feed restriction either the first or second week after hatch. Pectoralis major muscle morphological structure and the expression of the myogenic transcriptional regulatory factors, myogenic determination factor 1 (MyoD), myogenic regulatory factor 4 (MRF4), and myogenin, were measured. Broiler chicks at hatch were divided into a full-fed (control) group and a 20% feed restriction treatment administered either the first or second week posthatch. At the end of the feed restriction, the chicks were placed on a full feed ad libitum diet with no further restrictions. Muscle fiber diameter and fiber bundle size of the pectoralis major muscle were smaller in the wk 1 restricted group than the control group by 7 d of age. By 15 d of age through the duration of the study, d 43, both endomysial and perimysial connective tissue spacing were diminished in the wk 1 feed-restricted group. The expression of MyoD, MRF4, and myogenin was affected by the wk 1 feed restriction. The expression of MyoD and MRF4 was significantly increased during the first week posthatch. Both of the genes have been shown to be expressed during proliferation especially MyoD, which is required for muscle cell proliferation. In contrast, myogenin expression was significantly decreased. Myogenin expression is required for differentiation to occur. The morphological changes and gene expression changes observed with the wk 1 feed restriction were eliminated by moving the 20% feed restriction to wk 2, which is after the period of maximal myogenic satellite cell mitotic activity. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the timing of early posthatch feed restrictions to chicks is critical for the morphological development of the pectoralis major muscle and the expression of genes required for muscle satellite cell proliferation and differentiation.