In humans, alterations in bone metabolism have been associated with myopathies. We postulate the hypothesis that perhaps similar pathologies can also be associated in modern chickens. Hence, this study aimed to assess the fat infiltration in bone marrow and its repercussion on broiler chicken affected by Wooden Breast (WB) myopathy. Ten Cobb 500 live birds with extreme rigidity of the Pectoralis major (PM) muscle were selected as WB affected chickens by physical examination of the muscle at 49 days of age, whereas ten chickens healthy with no physical signs of hardness in the breast muscle were considered to be unaffected. Macroscopic lesions in affected chickens included areas of firm and inflamed muscle with pale appearance, hemorrhaging, and viscous exudate on the surface. Bone marrow and sections of the PM muscle were collected and analyzed for light microscopy. Additionally, transmission electron microscopy was conducted in affected or unaffected muscle. Chickens affected with WB showed significant reductions (P < 0.05) in femur diameter, calcium, and phosphorous percentage but increased breast weight, compression force and fillet thickness when compared with non-affected chickens. Interestingly, bone marrow from WB chicken had subjectively, more abundant infiltration of adipose tissue, when compared with non-affected chickens. Histology of the P. major of birds with WB showed abundant infiltration of adipose tissue, muscle fibers degeneration with necrosis and infiltration of heterophils and mononuclear cells, connective tissue proliferation, and vasculitis. Ultrastructural changes of WB muscle revealed lack definition of bands in muscle tissue, or any normal ultrastructural anatomy such as myofibrils. The endomysium components were necrotic, and in some areas, the endomysium was notable only as a string of necrotic tissue between degraded myofibrils. The fascia appeared hypertrophied, with large areas of necrosis and myofiber without structural identity with degraded mitochondria adjacent to the disrupted muscle tissue. Further studies to evaluate the role of visceral fat, adipokines, and inflammasome, remains to be evaluated.
Key Words: bone marrow, adipose tissue, broiler chickens, wooden breast, electron microscopy.
Abstract presented at the International Poultry Scientific Forum during IPPE 2020.