Effect of vitamin D status improvement with 25-hydroxycholecalciferol on skeletal muscle growth characteristics and satellite cell activity in broiler chickens.J Anim Sci. 2014 Aug; 92(8):3291-9.JA
Skeletal muscle satellite cells (SC) play a critical role in the hypertrophic growth of postnatal muscle. Increases in breast meat yield have been consistently observed in broiler chickens fed 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25OHD3), but it is unclear whether this effect is mediated by SC. Thus, our objective was to determine the effect of vitamin D status improvement by replacing the majority of dietary vitamin D3 (D3) with 25OHD3 on SC activity and muscle growth characteristics in the pectoralis major (PM) and the biceps femoris (BF) muscles. Day-old, male Ross 708 broiler chickens (n = 150) were fed 1 of 2 corn and soybean meal-based diets for 49 d. The control diet (CTL) contained 5,000 IU D3 per kg of diet and the experimental diet (25OHD3) contained 2,240 IU D3 per kg of diet + 2,760 IU 25OHD3 per kg of diet. Ten birds per treatment were harvested every 7 d. Two hours before harvest, birds were injected intraperitoneally with 5'-bromo-2'deoxyuridine (BrdU) to label mitotically active cells. Blood was collected from each bird at harvest to measure circulating concentrations of 25OHD3, a marker of vitamin D status. The PM and BF muscles were weighed and processed for cryohistological determination of skeletal muscle fiber cross-sectional area, enumeration of Myf-5+ and Pax7+ SC, and mitotically active (BrdU+) SC using immunofluorescence microscopy. Circulating 25OHD3 concentrations were greater in 25OHD3-fed birds on d 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, and 49 when compared with CTL (P < 0.001). Growth performance and feed efficiency did not differ among dietary treatments (P > 0.10). Improved vitamin D status as a result of feeding 25OHD3 increased the number of mitotically active (Pax7+;BrdU+) SC (P = 0.01) and tended to increase the density of Pax7+ SC (P = 0.07) in the PM muscles of broilers on d 21 and 35, respectively. Broiler chickens fed 25OHD3 also tended to have greater Myf-5+ SC density (P = 0.09) on d 14, greater total nuclear density (P = 0.05) on d 28, and a greater muscle fiber cross-sectional area (P = 0.09) on d 49 in their PM muscles compared with CTL birds. Collectively, these results suggest that improvement of vitamin D status by replacing the majority of D3 in the diet with 25OHD3 can stimulate SC activity in the predominantly fast-twitch PM muscle and provide evidence toward understanding the mechanism behind previously observed increases in breast meat yield in 25OHD3-fed commercial broiler chickens.