Interrelationship between feeding level and the metabolic hormones leptin, ghrelin and obestatin in control of chicken egg laying and release of ovarian hormones
Metabolic hormones leptin, ghrelin and obestatin can control reproductive processes and mediate the effects of feeding on reproduction and reproductive hormones in mammals, but their role in avian reproduction remains insufficiently studied. The aim of the present experiment is to examine the role of nutritional status, metabolic hormones and their interrelationships in the control of chicken ovarian ovulatory and secretory activity. For this purpose, we identified the effect of food restriction, administration of leptin, ghrelin 1-18, obestatin and combinations of food restriction with these hormones for 3 days on chicken ovulation (egg laying) rate and ovarian hormone release. The release of progesterone (P), testosterone (T), estradiol (E) and arginine-vasotocin (AVT) by isolated and cultured ovarian fragments was determined by EIA. It was observed that food restriction significantly reduced the egg-laying rate, T, E and AVT release and promoted P output by ovarian fragments. Leptin, administrated to ad libitum–fed chickens, did not change these parameters besides promoting E release. Nevertheless, administration of leptin was able to prevent the effect of food restriction on ovulation, T and E (but not P or AVT) release. Ghrelin 1-18 administration to ad libitum–fed birds did not affect the measured parameters besides a reduction in P release. Ghrelin 1-18 administration prevented the food restriction–induced decrease in ovarian T, E and AVT, but it did not change P output or egg laying. Obestatin administrated to control chicken promoted their ovarian P, E and inhibited ovarian AVT release but did not affect egg laying. It was able to promote the effect of food restriction on P, T and AVT, but not E release or egg laying. Our results (1) confirm an inhibitory effect of food restriction on chicken ovulation rate; (2) shows that food restriction–induced reduction in egg laying is associated with a decrease in ovarian T, E and AVT and an increase in ovarian P release; (3) confirm the involvement of metabolic hormones leptin, ghrelin and obestatin in the control of chicken ovarian hormones output; and (4) the ability of metabolic hormones to mimic/antagonize or prevent/promote the effects of food restriction on both egg laying and ovarian hormones demonstrates that nutritional status can influence ovarian ovulatory and endocrine functions via changes in metabolic hormones.
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