Effects of organic and inorganic dietary selenium supplementation on gene expression profiles in oviduct tissue from broiler-breeder hens

K. M. Brennan, C. A. Crowdus, A. H. Cantor, A. J. Pescatore, J. L. Barger, K. Horgan, R. Xiao, R. F. Power, K. A. Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Selenium (Se) is an essential component of at least 25 selenoproteins involved in a multitude of physiological functions, including reproduction. However, relatively little is known about the mechanisms by which Se exerts its physiological effects in reproductive tissue. The objective of this study was to compare the effect of long-term inorganic Se (sodium selenite, SS) and organic yeast-derived Se (Sel-Plex®, SP) supplementations on tissue Se content and gene expression patterns in the oviduct of broiler-breeder hens. Hens were randomly assigned at 6 weeks of age to one of the three treatments: basal semi-purified diet (control), basal diet+0.3ppm Se as SP or basal diet+0.3ppm Se as SS. At 49 weeks, oviduct tissue from hens randomly selected from each treatment (n=7) was analyzed for Se content and gene expression profiles using the Affymetrix Chicken genome array. Gene expression data were evaluated using GeneSpring GX 10.0 (Silicon Genetics, Redwood, CA) and Ingenuity Pathways Analysis software (Ingenuity Systems, Redwood City, CA). Oviduct Se concentration was greater with Se supplementation compared with the control (P≤0.05) but did not differ between SS- and SP-supplemented groups. Gene expression analysis revealed that the quantity of gene transcripts associated with energy production and protein translation were greater in the oviduct with SP but not SS supplementation. Targets up-regulated by SP, but not SS, included genes encoding several subunits of the mitochondrial respiratory complexes, ubiquinone production and ribosomal subunits. SS hens showed a decrease in transcripts of genes involved in respiratory complexes, ATP synthesis and protein translation and metabolism in oviduct relative to control hens. In this study, although tissue Se concentrations did not differ between hens fed SS- and SP-supplemented diets, expression patterns of genes involved in energy production and protein synthesis pathways differed between treatments. These variations may partially explain the differences in reproductive performance reported in hens fed different forms of Se.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-188
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
Issue number1-4
StatePublished - May 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the Alltech-University of Kentucky Nutrition Research Alliance . We would also like to thank Dr. Tuoying Ao and Dr. James Pierce for help with tissue sampling and diet analysis. The authors would like to acknowledge Mr. Mike Ford and Mr. William King for their animal husbandry work and Mr. David Gillespie for help with the Se analysis. Thank you to Mr. Tsuyoshi Kayo for technical assistance with running the microarray experiments and Mrs. Malinda Spry for her editing and proofreading contributions.


  • Broiler
  • Chicken
  • Gene expression
  • Microarray
  • Oviduct
  • Selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Endocrinology


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