The effect of Cannabis seed on DLK1 gene expression in heart tissue of Kermani lambs

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc Student, Animal Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.

2 Assistant professor, Animal Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran.

3 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, College of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman

4 Professor, Animal Science Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran

5 Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture, Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman, Kerman, Iran


Cannabis seeds have high amounts of crude protein and energy, so they can better resist the microbial digestion of the rumen and pass through the intact rumen to a greater extent and be digested and absorbed in the intestine. This means they can improve livestock performance. Therefore, they can be used for this purpose. On the other hand, DLK1 gene plays an important role in controlling cell differentiation processes, including muscle and nerve differentiation, adipogenesis, hematopoiesis, and bone differentiation throughout fetal and adult life. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of cannabis seeds on DLK1 gene expression in the heart tissue of Kermani lambs.
Materials and Methods
To carry out this research, 12 six-month-old Kermani lambs of equal weight were used in a completely randomized design in three experimental groups.After slaughter, sampling of heart tissue (with 3 repeats) was done from both groups.The samples were quickly placed in liquid nitrogen and then stored in a -80 freezer.Total RNA was extracted using a standard kit.The quality and quantity of extracted RNA was evaluated.cDNA synthesis kit of Fermentase Company was used for cDNA synthesis.Real time PCR reaction using Syber Green method was used to check the relative level of gene expression.To analyze the data obtained from real time PCR, the method of Pfaffl et al. was used.
The ratio of A260/A280 for the extracted RNAs was equal to 1.9-1.8, which indicates their appropriate and desirable quality. The results of real time PCR curves and electrophoresis of PCR products on agarose gel showed that DLK1 gene is expressed in heart tissue. The results of the present study also showed that feeding cannabis at the level of 1% significantly (P<0.05) increases the expression of DLK1 gene in the heart tissue by 4.74 times compared to the control group.
Based on the results of the present study, it can be concluded that cannabis can be used in the diet of sheep to improve the structure of the heart through positive effects on the expression of the DLK1 gene. In addition, the interesting results of the present study in response to the use of Cannabis seeds in the diet of sheep open a new path for wider research in this field.


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