The aim of present study was to investigate the beneficial effect of chromium (III) picolinate (CrPic) and chromium (III) picolinate nanoparticles (NCrPic) addition on growth performance, stress-related hormonal changes, and serum levels of various immunity biomarkers, as well as the gene expression of IFN-γ in broilers exposed to heat stress conditions. Treatments included T1 which received the basal diet with no feed additive; T2 exposed to heat stress; T3, T4, and T5 containing 500, 1000, and 1500 ppb CrPic; as well as T6, T7, and T8 containing 500, 1000, and 1500 ppb NCrPic, respectively. After 2 weeks from CrPic and NCrPic supplementation, IFN-γ mRNA expression was assayed using the RT-PCR technique. The results showed that the lower body weight, daily weight gain, daily feed intake by heat stress, and the feed conversion ratio were recovered remarkably by CrPic and NCrPic supplements. The stress-elevated levels of cortisol and immunoglobulin were reduced significantly using CrPic and NCrPic supplementation (P ≤ 0.05). The gene expression profile showed that the upregulated expression of IFN-γ was regulated by the addition of CrPic and NCrPic, in particular, to the diet; however, a full downregulation of IFN-γ expression was observed after week 2 of NCrPic supplementation. In conclusion, the results indicated that nanoparticle supplementation could be effective in reducing heat stress-induced detrimental alterations, thereby attributing to substantial changes to the immune system, including IFN-γ expression.
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