N-Acetyl-β-D-Glucosaminidase as a Marker of Renal Damage in Hens

M. F. Forman, M. M. Beck, S. D. Kachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Urinary N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) is an early physiological indicator of renal damage in several mammalian species. A study was conducted to confirm occurrence of NAG in hen urine, to establish baseline urinary NAG in laying hens, and to assess the feasibility of using the enzyme as a marker of renal damage in hens. Hy-Line® hens were used in a completely randomized block design in the first part of the study. Urine was collected at 4 to 6, 6 to 10,10 to 14, and 14 to 18 h, and serum at 4, 6, 10, and 14 h postoviposition, and assayed by spectrophotometry for NAG. Kidney tissue from additional hens was assayed histochemically for NAG. Serum NAG (range: 0.11 to 0.14 mU/mg protein) was found to be several orders of magnitude lower than urine NAG (6.44 to 12.27 mU/mg protein). Urine NAG increased from 4 to 6 h through 14 to 18 h, indicating that time of collection is critical in order to utilize the enzyme as a valid marker for laying hens. A preliminary study with five hens indicated that 10 d of treatment with liquid cholecalciferol (D3) supplement (three times the recommended level) were not enough to detect renal damage on the basis of significant changes in urine NAG, but elevated urine NAG was detected at 40 d of D3-supplementation. Overall the results indicate that NAG in urine of laying hens is a potentially useful diagnostic marker of renal damage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1563-1568
Number of pages6
JournalPoultry science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1996


  • Dietary toxicity
  • Hen
  • Kidney function
  • N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase
  • Renal damage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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