Local and Systemic Cytokine, Chemokine, and FGF Profile in Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis (BCO)-Affected Broilers

Document Type


Publication Date



cytokines, FGF, BCO, FHN, lameness, broilers


Complex disease states, like bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO), not only result in physiological symptoms, such as lameness, but also a complex systemic reaction involving immune and growth factor responses. For the modern broiler (meat-type) chickens, BCO is an animal welfare, production, and economic concern involving bacterial infection, inflammation, and bone attrition with a poorly defined etiology. It is, therefore, critical to define the key inflammatory and bone-related factors involved in BCO. In this study, the local bone and systemic blood profile of inflammatory modulators, cytokines, and chemokines was elucidated along with inflammasome and key FGF genes. BCO-affected bone showed increased expression of cytokines IL-1β, while BCO-affected blood expressed upregulated TNFα and IL-12. The chemokine profile revealed increased IL-8 expression in both BCO-affected bone and blood in addition to inflammasome NLRC5 being upregulated in circulation. The key FGF receptor, FGFR1, was significantly downregulated in BCO-affected bone. The exposure of two different bone cell types, hFOB and chicken primary chondrocytes, to plasma from BCO-affected birds, as well as recombinant TNFα, resulted in significantly decreased cell viability. These results demonstrate an expression of proinflammatory and bone-resorptive factors and their potential contribution to BCO etiology through their impact on bone cell viability. This unique profile could be used for improved non-invasive detection of BCO and provides potential targets for treatments.


This article was published with support from the Open Access Publishing Fund administered through the University of Arkansas Libraries.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.