The study was conducted to examine the histological changes i.e. morphology and biometry of immune organs (thymus, spleen and bursa cloacalis or «Fabricius») of broilers in response to dietary dexamethasone (DEX). The day old chicks were obtained from the commercial hatchery and randomly divided into two groups i.e. control and experimental or treated group. The control group was reared on commercial broiler ration and the experimental group (n=25) was maintained on commercial broiler ration with corticosteroid (Dexamethasone-Decason, BP 0.5 mg, Opsonin @ 7 mg/kg feed). Samples (bursa cloacalis, spleen, and thymus) were collected from the ten control and ten experimental broilers at 14 and 28 days of experiment; then tissues were stained with Hematoxylin and Eosin. The biometric measurements of the samples were performed by the calibrated stage micrometer. Finally, the obtained data were analyzed using GraphPad Prism 8 software. In DEX treated group, the morphology of thymus, spleen and bursa cloacalis did not show any abnormal alterations. But their development rate was slower on visual inspection in DEX treated group. The length and width of bursal follicle of bursa cloacalis, thymic lobule of thymus and white pulp of spleen were statistically consisted but numerically decreased in DEX treated group than the control. The present findings suggested that DEX does not affect the histological architectures of immune organs except causing developmental arrest. Numerical decrease in the biometry of immune organs indicates that DEX causes apoptosis of immune cells in lymphoid organs of broiler.
KEY WORDS: Broiler; Dexamethasone; Immune organs.