Uterine Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Mechanism Underlying the Ultrastructure Differences of Eggshell in Young and Aged Laying Hens [post]

Jia Feng, Hai-jun Zhang, Shu-geng Wu, Guang-hai Qi, J. Wang
2020 unpublished
Background Lower eggshell quality in the late laying period leads to economic loss. It is a major threat to the quality and safety of egg products. Age-related variations in ultrastructure were thought to induce this deterioration. Eggshell mineralization is a highly complex process under precise regulation of genes and biological pathways in uterus of laying hens. Herein, we evaluated the physical, mechanical and ultrastructure properties of eggshell and conducted RNA sequencing to learn the
more » ... anscriptomic differences in uterus between laying hens in the peak (young hens) and late phase (aged hens) of production. Results The declined breaking strength and fracture toughness of eggshell were observed in aged hen group compared to those in young hen group, accompanied with ultrastructure variations including the increased thickness of mammillary layer and the decreased incidence of early fusion. During the initial stage of eggshell formation, a total of 183 differentially expressed genes (DEGs; 125 upregulated and 58 downregulated) were identified in uterus of laying hens in the late phase in relative to those at peak production. The DEGs annotated to Gene Ontology terms related to antigen processing and presentation were downregulated in aged hens compared to young hens. The contents of proinflammatory cytokine IL-1β in uterus were higher in aged hens relative to those in young hens. Besides, the genes of some matrix proteins potentially involved in eggshell mineralization, such as ovalbumin, versican and glypican 3, were also differentially expressed between two groups. Conclusions Altered gene expression of matrix proteins along with the compromised immune function in uterus of laying hens in the late phase of production may conduce to age-related impairments of eggshell ultrastructure and mechanical properties. The current study enhances our understanding of the age-related deteriorations in eggshell ultrastructure and provides potential targets for improvement of eggshell quality in the late laying period.
doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-26128/v3 fatcat:yksgkp3wizfp3kwy75ubkjdv2u