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J Neuroendocrinol. 1997 Mar;9(3):235-43.

Immunocytochemical localization of GnRH precursor in the hypothalamus of European starlings during sexual maturation and photorefractoriness.

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1
School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, UK.

Abstract

Immunocytochemistry with quantitative image analysis, for both GnRH and its precursor proGnRH-GAP, was used in male European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) to investigate four stages of a photoperiodically-induced reproductive cycle. Four different groups of birds were examined: photosensitive buy sexually immature, sexually mature, undergoing gonadal regression, and after the completion of regression and fully photorefractory. The size of cells staining for GnRH and proGnRH-GAP increased during gonadal maturation. A reduction in the number of cells staining for GnRH and the size of cells staining for both GnRH and proGnRH-GAP occurred during gonadal regression, though staining for GnRH and proGnRH-GAP in the median eminence remained high at this stage. Birds examined after completion of regression showed significantly reduced staining for both GnRH and its precursor. These observations suggest that photorefractoriness is promoted by a reduction in proGnRH-GAP production and in GnRH synthesis, rather than requiring inhibition of release of GnRH at the median eminence.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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