The purpose of this study was to define the toxic effects of vanadium on thymic development in broilers fed on diets supplemented with 0, 5, 15, 30, 45 and 60 mg/kg of vanadium for 42 days. We examined the changes of relative weigh, cell cycle phase, apoptotic cells, and protein expression of Bcl-2, Bax, and caspase-3 in the thymus by the methods of flow cytometry, TUNEL (terminal-deoxynucleotidyl transferase mediated nick end labeling) and immunohistochemistry. The results showed that dietary high vanadium (30 mg/kg, 45 mg/kg and 60 mg/kg) caused the toxic effects on thymic development, which was characterized by decreasing relative weigh, increasing G0/G1 phase (a prolonged nondividing state), reducing S phase (DNA replication) and proliferating index (PI), and increasing percentages of apoptotic thymocytes. Concurrently, the protein expression levels of Bax and caspase-3 were increased, and protein expression levels of Bcl-2 were decreased. The thymic development suppression caused by dietary high vanadium further leads to inhibitive effects on T lymphocyte maturity and activity, and cellular immune function. The above-mentioned results provide new evidences for further understanding the vanadium immunotoxicity. In contrast, dietary 5 mg/kg vanadium promoted the thymic development by increasing relative weigh, decreasing G0/G1 phase, increasing S phase and PI, and reducing percentages of apoptotic thymocytes when compared to the control group and high vanadium groups.
Cui, W., Guo, H., & Cui, H. (2015). Vanadium toxicity in the thymic development. Oncotarget, 6(30). https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5798