Beneficial effects of water-soluble chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) tannin extract on chicken small intestinal epithelial cell culture

M. Brus, L. Gradišnik, M. Trapečar, D. Škorjanc, R. Frangež

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feed and water supplementation with powdered hydrolyzable tannins from chestnut represents a valuable alternative strategy to antibiotics in animal nutrition. In this study, we evaluated the effects and safety of a water-soluble form of chestnut tannin (WST) in an in vitro model of chicken small intestinal epithelial cells (CSIEC). A chicken cell culture was established, and WST in concentrations of 0.025, 0.05, 0.1, and 0.2% were tested for cytotoxicity, cell proliferation, metabolic activity, production of reactive oxygen species, intracellular antioxidative potential, genotoxicity, and influence on the epithelia cell cycle. The tested concentrations showed a significant (P < 0.05) greater proliferative effect on CSIEC than the control medium (maximal proliferation at 0.1% WST as determined by optical density measurements). The 0.2% concentration of WST was cytotoxic, causing significantly higher (P < 0.05) nitric oxide and hydrogen peroxide production but with no short-term genotoxicity. Although increasing the concentration caused a decline in the metabolism of challenged cells (the lowest at 0.1% WST), metabolic activity remained higher than that in control cells. The antioxidant potential was 75% better and significantly (P < 0.05) higher in the 0.1% WST cultured cells compared to control. In conclusion, the cultured CSIEC are useful tools in basic and clinical research for the study of intestinal physiology, as they retain physiological and biochemical properties and epithelial morphology close to the original tissue and, in many ways, reflect the in vivo state. Our results indicate that WST exert a beneficial effect on intestinal epithelia, since they: i) stimulate proliferation of enterocytes; ii) increase antioxidative potential; iii) have no genotoxic effect; and iv) do not affect cellular metabolism. Our results reinforce the importance of WST as promising candidates for further evaluation and use in commercial broiler farm production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1271-1282
Number of pages12
JournalPoultry science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Antioxidative potential
  • Cell proliferation
  • Chicken intestinal cell model
  • Genotoxicity
  • Hydrolyzable tannin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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