The effects of thyroxine (T4) on growth, feed efficiency, breast muscle (Musculus pectoralis profundus) weight, liver weight, abdominal fat content, and rates of muscle protein synthesis (Ks) and breakdown (Kd) estimated by N tau-methylhistidine excretion were investigated in broiler chickens of both sexes. Dietary inclusion of .4 ppm T4 resulted in a less abdominal fat content in female chickens and a higher muscle protein synthesis rate in male chickens. Administration of T4 at the level of 1.2 ppm produced higher feed efficiency in both sexes and greater muscle weight and muscle protein synthesis rate in male chickens. This treatment also produced less abdominal fat content in female chickens. Administration of T4 at the level of 3.6 ppm produced lower body weight gain, breast muscle weight, liver weight, and abdominal fat content in both sexes and both higher protein synthesis and breakdown in skeletal muscle in male chickens. These experiments demonstrated that the abdominal fat content could be successfully reduced by dietary inclusion of T4, especially in female broiler chickens. The findings in the present investigation suggested that the improved feed efficiency and muscle growth were largely accomplished by the increase in muscle protein synthesis induced by the dietary inclusion of thyroxine.
ASJC Scopus subject areas