Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and somatostatin (SRIH) concentrations were determined by RIA during both embryonic development and posthatch growth of the chicken. Both TRH and SRIH were already detectable in hypothalami of 14-day-old embryos (E14). Towards the end of incubation, hypothalamic TRH levels increased progressively, followed by a further increase in newly hatched fowl. SRIH concentrations remained stable from E14 to E17 and doubled between E17 and E18 to a concentration which was observed up to hatching. Plasma GH levels remained low during embryonic development, ending in a steep increase at hatching. Plasma TSH levels on the other hand decreased during the last week of the incubation. During growth, TRH concentrations further increased, whereas SRIH concentrations fell progressively towards those of adult animals. Plasma TSH levels increased threefold up to adulthood; the rise in plasma GH levels during growth was followed by a drop in adults. In conclusion, the present report shows that important changes occur in the hypothalamic TRH and SRIH concentration during both embryonic development and posthatch growth of the chicken. Since TRH and SRIH control GH and TSH release in the chicken, the hypothalamic data are compared with plasma GH and TSH fluctuations.
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CH Verhoelst, S Van Der Geyten, and VM Darras
Iodothyronine deiodinase in vitro activity studies in the chicken showed the presence of type I and type III iodothyronine deiodinase activity in both liver and kidney. Due to the lack of a specific antiserum the cellular localization of the deiodinase proteins could not be revealed until now. In the present study, specific antisera were used to study the renal and hepatic distribution of type I and type III iodothyronine deiodinase protein in the chicken. Immunocytochemical staining of liver tissue led to an immunopositive signal in the hepatocytes in general. Moreover, a zonal distribution could be detected for both enzymes. Maximum protein expression was shown in a thin layer of hepatocytes bordering the blood veins. Although pericentral localization of type I deiodinase protein has been previously reported in the rat, no data were given concerning type III deiodinase protein. In the present study, we report the co-localization of both enzymes in the chicken. Co-expression of the deiodinases was also found in the kidney. Expression of both proteins was associated with the tubular epithelial cells and with the transitional epithelium, and the inner longitudinal and outer circular muscle layers of the ureter. No staining could be detected in the lamina propria or in the fat tissue surrounding the ureter.
KL Geris, B de Groef, SP Rohrer, S Geelissen, ER Kuhn, and VM Darras
Somatostatin (SRIH) functions as an endocrine mediator in processes such as growth, immune resistance and reproduction. Five SRIH receptors (sstr1-5) have been identified in mammals, where they are expressed in both the brain and peripheral tIssues. To study the specific function of each receptor subtype, specific agonists (ag1-5) have been synthesized. The high degree of homology between mammalian and avian SRIH receptors suggests that these agonists might also be used in chickens. In this paper we describe two in vitro protocols (static incubation and perifusion system) to identify the SRIH receptors controlling the secretion of GH and TSH from the chicken pituitary. We found that basal GH or TSH secretion were never affected when SRIH or an agonist (1 microM) were added. SRIH diminished the GH as well as the TSH response to TSH-releasing hormone (TRH; 100 nM) in both systems. Our results have indicated that the SRIH actions at the level of the pituitary are regulated through specific receptor subtypes. In both the static and flow incubations, ag2 lowered the GH response to TRH, whereas stimulated TSH release was diminished by both ag2 and ag5. Ag3 and ag4 tended to increase rather than decrease the responsiveness of both pituitary cell types to TRH in perifusion studies. Our data have indicated that SRIH inhibits chicken pituitary function through sstr2 and sstr5. Only sstr2 seems to be involved in the control of chicken GH release, whereas both sstr2 and sstr5 inhibit induced GH secretion in mammals. The possible stimulatory action of ag3 and ag4 may point towards a species-specific function of sstr3 and sstr4.
R Vasilatos-Younken, Y Zhou, X Wang, JP McMurtry, RW Rosebrough, E Decuypere, N Buys, VM Darras, S Van Der Geyten, and F Tomas
In contrast to most vertebrates, GH reportedly has no effect upon somatic growth of the chicken. However, previous studies employed only one to two dosages of the hormone, and limited evidence exists of a hyperthyroid response that may confound its anabolic potential. This study evaluated the effects of 0, 10, 50, 100 and 200 microgram/kg body weight per day chicken GH (cGH) (0-200 GH) infused i.v. for 7 days in a pulsatile pattern to immature, growing broiler chickens (9-10 birds/dosage). Comprehensive profiles of thyroid hormone metabolism and measures of somatic growth were obtained. Overall (average) body weight gain was reduced 25% by GH, with a curvilinear, dose-dependent decrease in skeletal (breast) muscle mass that was maximal (12%) at 100 GH. This profile mirrored GH dose-dependent decreases in hepatic type III deiodinase (DIII) activity and increases in plasma tri-iodothyronine (T(3)), with bot! h also maximal (74 and 108% respectively) at 100 GH. No effect on type I deiodinase was observed. At the maximally effective dosage, hepatic DIII gene expression was reduced 44% versus controls. Despite dose-dependent, fold-increases in hepatic IGF-I protein content, circulating IGF-I was not altered with GH infusion, suggesting impairment of hepatic IGF-I release. Significant, GH dose-dependent increases in plasma non-esterified fatty acid and glucose, and overall decreases in triacylglycerides were also observed. At 200 GH, feed intake was significantly reduced (19%; P<0.05) versus controls; however, additional control birds pair-fed to this level did not exhibit any responses observed for GH-treated birds. The results of this study support a pathway by which GH impacts on thyroid hormone metabolism beginning at a pretranslational level, with reduced hepatic DIII gene expression, translating to reduced protein (enzyme) ex! pression, and reflected in a reduced level of peripheral T(3)-degrading activity. This contributes to decreased conversion of T(3) to its inactive form, thereby elevating circulating T(3) levels. The hyper-T(3) state leads to reduced net skeletal muscle deposition, and may impair release of GH-enhanced, hepatic IGF-I. In conclusion, GH has significant biological effects in the chicken, but profound metabolic actions predominate that may confound positive, IGF-I-mediated skeletal muscle growth.