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Silver nanoparticles can destroy bacteria, viruses and fungi; therefore, it is recommended as a disinfectant and can be used as a drug in the treatment of some non-curable viral disease in livestock. The aim of the present investigation was to study the effects of nanosilver induced toxicity on the liver of broiler chickens. This study was carried out on 240 one-day-old male broiler chickens (Ross 308) in a completely randomized design (CRD) in four treatments at 0 (control), 4, 8 and 12 ppm levels of silver nanoparticles that was added daily to the drinking water with four repetitions within 16 separate cages and 15 birds in each pen. At the end of the experiment (day 42), 32 chicks were randomly selected and slaughtered thereafter, H&E, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining and light microscope was used to examine livers. Liver histopathology and H&E staining showed dose depended changes such as fatty degeneration, sinusoidal congestion, central vein dilatation, necrosis in hepatocytes and fibrosis. TUNEL staining showed significant (p<0.01) increase of apoptotic cells in groups 3 (8 ppm) and 4 (12 ppm). Data were statistically analyzed using ANOVA. Lesions and apoptotic cells in groups 3 (8 ppm) and 4 (12 ppm) were more severe than in group 2 (4 ppm). It can be concluded that higher concentrations of nanosilver (8 and 12 ppm) can induce sever lesions in chickens liver.
Key words: Broiler chicks, liver, histopathology, immunohistochemistry, TUNEL