Poultry production stands out on agricultural production for its high productivity and technical standards. To achieve such high levels as observed, animals are kept under stressful situations, which result in a increased propensity to infections, for example necrotic enteritis caused by Clostridium perfringens (gram-positive bacilli, anaerobic, spore-forming bacteria that naturally inhabits intestinal tract of broilers). When exposed to immune challenges and stressful situations, animals enlarge their production of cytokines such as IL-1 and TNF. However, these and other cytokines, have effects on central nervous system, causing adverse events, known generically as sickness behavior. Immediate early genes are a class of genes expressed in a fast and temporary basis in different areas of the CNS after a stressor stimulus. The proteins caused by their activation, such as the Fos protein, are important tools used to map functional activity of the brain, as they are part of the cellular response to environmental stimulus and can change aspects of neuronal physiology. The present study proposes to evaluate the expression of Fos protein in the brain of broilers exposed to thermal stress in an experimental model of necrotic enteritis caused by Clostridium prefringens, enduring the research developed by the Group of Neuroimmunomodulation in the Department of Pathology (VPT-FMVZ-USP).
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