Effects of dietary clays on performance and intestinal mucus barrier of broiler chicks challenged with salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium and on goblet cell function in vitro

J. A.S. Almeida, N. P. Ponnuraj, J. J. Lee, P. Utterback, H. R. Gaskins, R. N. Dilger, J. E. Pettigrew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In vivo and in vitro experiments were conducted to test for beneficial effects of dietary clays on broiler chicks challenged with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and to explore potential mechanisms. First, two hundred forty 1-d-old male broilers (initial BW: 41.6 ± 0.4 g) were allotted in a 2 × 4 factorial arrangement in a randomized complete block design. There were 2 infection treatments (with or without Salmonella) and 4 diets: basal (BAS), 0.3% smectite A (SMA), 0.3% smectite B, and 0.3% zeolite. The Salmonella reduced (P < 0.05) the growth rate of chicks fed the BAS, and feeding clay largely restored it (challenge × diet interaction, P < 0.05). Goblet cell number and size were increased (P < 0.05) by Salmonella in chicks fed the BAS and were reduced (P < 0.05) in Salmonella-challenged chicks by feeding SMA. Villus height was reduced by the Salmonella challenge in the chicks fed dietary clays (P < 0.01) but not in chicks fed the BAS (interaction P < 0.05). A human adenocarcinoma cell line (LS174T) was cultured in vitro in 3 separate experiments in the absence or presence of 3 concentrations (0.05, 0.10, and 0.50%) of SMA. Expression of mucin 2 (MUC2), resistin-like molecule β (RELMβ), and trefoil factor 3 (TFF3) were determined by real-time reverse-transcription PCR. The expression of RELMβ was increased and expression of MUC2 was reduced (P < 0.05) by 0.10% SMA. Also, LS174T cells were cultured without or with SMA (0.05 and 0.10%) and the medium and cell lysate were analyzed for RELMβ using an immunoblot assay. Protein expression of RELMβ in the cell lysate was reduced (P < 0.05) by SMA addition but increased in the medium, indicating that SMA increased secretion of RELMβ, thus depleting the cell and concentrating this protein in the medium. In conclusion, the dietary clays restored the growth depression caused by Salmonella, and changes in goblet cell function may contribute to the benefits of one of the clays, specifically SMA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-847
Number of pages9
JournalPoultry science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014



  • Chick
  • Clay
  • Goblet cell
  • LS174T cell line
  • Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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