Effects of riboflavin deficiency on the lipid metabolism of duck breeders and duck embryos

Poult Sci. 2021 Oct;100(10):101342. doi: 10.1016/j.psj.2021.101342. Epub 2021 Jun 24.


This study aimed to evaluate the effects of dietary riboflavin deficiency (RD) on the lipid metabolism of duck breeders and duck embryos. A total of 40 female 40-wk-old white Pekin duck breeders were randomly divided into 2 groups, received either RD diet (1.48 mg riboflavin/kg) or control diet (16.48 mg riboflavin/kg, CON) for 14 wk. Each group consisted of 20 duck breeders (10 replicates per group, 2 birds per replicate), and all experiment birds were single-caged. At the end of the experiment, reproductive performance, hepatic riboflavin, hepatic flavin mononucleotide (FMN), hepatic flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD), hepatic morphology, hepatic lipid contents, and hepatic protein expression of duck breeders and duck embryos were measured. The results showed that the RD had no effect on egg production and egg fertility but reduced egg hatchability, duck embryo weight, hepatic riboflavin, FMN, and FAD status compared to results obtained in the CON group (all P < 0.05). Livers from RD ducks presented enlarged lipid droplets, excessive accumulation of total lipids, triglycerides, and free fatty acids (all P < 0.05). In addition to excessive lipids accumulation, medium-chain specific acyl-CoA dehydrogenase expression was downregulated (P < 0.05), and short-chain specific acyl-CoA dehydrogenase expression was upregulated in maternal and embryonic livers (P < 0.05). RD did not affect maternal hepatic acyl-CoA dehydrogenase family member 9 (ACAD9) expression, but duck embryonic hepatic ACAD9 expression was reduced in the RD group (P < 0.05). Collectively, dietary RD conditioned lower egg hatchability and inhibited the development of duck embryos. Increased accumulation of lipids, both maternal and embryo, was impaired due to the reduced flavin protein expression, which caused inhibition of hepatic lipids utilization. These findings suggest that abnormal duck embryonic growth and low hatchability caused by RD might be associated with disorders of lipid metabolism in maternal as well as embryos.

Keywords: duck breeder; duck embryo; lipid metabolism; protein expression; riboflavin.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial, Veterinary

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Ducks*
  • Female
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Riboflavin Deficiency* / veterinary