The effect of L-tryptophan on the food intake, rectal temperature, and blood metabolic parameters of 7-day-old chicks during feeding, fasting, and acute heat stress

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Ph.D. Student in Physiology, Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

2 Department of Basic Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

3 Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

4 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran



Background: Exposure to a high ambient temperature (HT) can cause heat stress, which has a negative impact on physiological functions. L-tryptophan (L-Trp) as a precursor of serotonergic and kynurenine (Kyn) pathways, has a calmative effect during different stress statuses. Aims: This study was carried out to determine the influence of intraperitoneal injection of Trp on feeding behavior, rectal temperature, and some blood parameters in the heat stress condition. Methods: L-tryptophan (25 and 50 mg/kg body weight, BW) was administered intraperitoneally during either HT (39°C) or control temperature (CT; 31°C) for 5 h whilst fed or fasted in 7-day-old chicks. Results: L-tryptophan caused elevation in decreased food intake and significantly decreased rectal temperature during acute heat stress at the dose of 50 mg/kg BW. Rectal temperature reduced in the fasted state at the dose of 50 mg/kg BW, and at the dose of 25 mg/kg BW Trp in the fed state in comparison with the other experimental groups. Reduction of serum glucose, triglyceride, and corticosterone levels was seen during the fed state. L-tryptophan had a significant reducing effect on the serum corticosterone level in the fasted state in comparison with the fed state, and also revealed a significant decline at the dose of 25 mg/kg BW on the elevated serum corticosterone under heat stress. Conclusion: Administration of L-tryptophan leads to increase cumulative food intake and decrease rectal temperature during heat stress. Also, L-Trp causes to decline increased serum corticosterone level under heat stress and fasted state. These findings indicated the potential regulator role of Trp to modulate stress response in heat-exposed chicks.


Main Subjects

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