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Maternal Selenium Supplementation Enhanced Skeletal Muscle Development Through Increasing Protein Synthesis and SelW mRNA Levels of their Offspring


The present study aimed to investigate the influence of maternal selenium supplementation on the skeletal muscle development of the offspring. A total of 720 Ross 308 broiler breeders at 24-week-old were allocated into 3 treatments with 6 replicates of 40 hens each and fed with 0 mg/kg-(group Se/C), 0.5 mg/kg organic-(group Se/O), and 0.5 mg/kg inorganic-(group Se/I) selenium, respectively for 8 weeks. The male offspring from each nutritional treatment were divided and housed into 8 cages of 12 birds each and fed with a commercial diet supplemented with selenium from Na2SeO3 at 0.15 mg/kg. Results showed that Se/O group had the highest selenium deposition (P < 0.05) in the egg yolk and albumen. Furthermore, maternal selenium supplementation promoted breast muscle yield; increased serum insulin and IGF-I concentration; upregulated AKT, mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), P70S6K, Myf5, MyoD, MyoG, and SelW mRNA levels; and improved the phosphorylation of AKT at Serine 473 residue, mTOR at Serine 2448 residue, and FOXO at Serine 256 residue in skeletal muscles of the offspring. In contrast, the hens’ diet supplemented with selenium could result in reduction of uric acid level in serum and downregulation of Atrogin-1 and MuRF1 mRNA levels in the skeletal muscle of the offspring. Additionally, no significant effect on the skeletal muscle development post-hatch was observed between organic and inorganic selenium supplementation. In conclusion, maternal organic selenium supplementation improved selenium deposition in egg; however, no significant effect has been detected on the breast muscle development of the offspring of broiler breeder compared with inorganic selenium supplementation.

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This work was supported by the China Agriculture Research System program (CARS-42-G13).

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Correspondence to Wei Nie.

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Gao, J., Nie, W., Wang, F. et al. Maternal Selenium Supplementation Enhanced Skeletal Muscle Development Through Increasing Protein Synthesis and SelW mRNA Levels of their Offspring. Biol Trace Elem Res 186, 238–248 (2018).

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  • Organic selenium
  • Inorganic selenium
  • Protein metabolism
  • Skeletal muscle
  • Offspring