Changes in plasma gonadotrophins, testosterone, prolactin, thyroxine and triiodothyronine concentrations in male Japanese quail (Coturnix coturnix japonica) of a heavy body weight line during photo-induced testicular growth and regression

S. J. Henare, M. Kikuchi, R. T. Talbot, J. F. Cockrem

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1. Simultaneous changes of cloacal gland area (CGA) and plasma luteinising hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), testosterone (T), prolactin (PRL), thyroxine (T-4) and triiodothyronine (T-3) during photo-induced testicular growth and regression were measured in commercially bred Japanese quail from a heavy body weight line.

2. Somatically mature male Japanese quail were transferred from short days (light: dark 8L: 16D) at 10 degrees C, to long days (16L: 8D) at 20 degrees C; and sexually mature male Japanese quail were transferred from long to short days. All variables were measured at transfer and every 5 d thereafter for 35 d.

3. Transfer from short to long days caused significant increases in LH, FSH, T and testis weight (TW) after 5 d, and in CGA after 10 d. T-3 decreased after 5 d, whereas T-4 increased significantly after 25 long days and PRL did not undergo any consistent change. The testicular growth rate was k = 0.1146.

4. Transferring quail from long to short days caused significant decreases in LH and FSH after 5 d, and decreases in T, TW and CGA after 10 d. T-4 decreased after 5 d whilst T-3 increased significantly by day 15. PRL decreased significantly after 10 d then rose before declining again. The testicular regression rate was k = 0.0582.

5. The rates of photo-induced testicular development and regression in a strain of large Japanese quail did not differ from rates reported for other strains of quail. CGA was a better indicator of TW than plasma T concentrations during growth and regression. The role of PRL in photo-induced reproductive cycles in male Japanese quail remains to be determined.

6. The photoperiod-induced changes in gonad size and hormone concentrations, together provide valuable information that can be used in future studies of the endocrinology and neuroendocrinology of photoperiodism in birds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-791
Number of pages10
JournalBritish Poultry Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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