Effect of breeding stage and photoperiod on gonadal and serotonergic axes in domestic ganders

Małgorzata Gumułka*, Israel Rozenboim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Reduction in reproductive potential of ganders with progress in seasonal breeding is a known problem in commercial geese production. The role of changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-gondal axis and testis functions in this process is not clear. This article presents studies on the hypothalamic (GnRH-I, vasoactive intestinal peptide), pituitary (LHβ, prolactin [PRL], PRL receptor [PRLR]), testis (PRLR) axis messenger RNA (mRNA) expression during different stages of the breeding period and photoperiodic conditions. Testis mass; histologic and functional (testosterone [T]) parameters; and plasma concentrations of T, LH, and PRL were evaluated. We collected (six times) samples from 2-year-old ganders (n = 48) maintained in short day (10L:14D) during the period from November to July. Moreover, in the peak of sexual activity (March), an additional group was on exposure (6 weeks) to long day (LD; 16L:8D). During the first half of reproduction (January, March; photosensitive period), GnRH-I (1.9 vs. 0.3 relative quantity [RQ]) and LHβ (3.0 vs. 0.7 RQ) mRNA transcript expression and concentrations of T (1.9 - 2.9 vs. 0.3 ng/mL), LH (13.6 - 7.4 vs. 0.7 ng/mL) were found to be higher (P < 0.05) than at the end of breeding (July). With progress in breeding, marked elevation (P < 0.05) in PRL (22.0 -387.1 ng/mL) concentration related to similar changes in vasoactive intestinal peptide (0.9 - 3.0 RQ) and PRL mRNA abundance (1.3 - 11.5 RQ; May, July) was observed. However, testis PRLR mRNA increased (P < 0.05) only at the end of reproduction (1.2 RQ) compared to the peak of sexual activity (0.4 RQ; March). Furthermore, changes in mRNA transcript expression of the lactotrophic axis were accompanied with reduction of testis weight (left: 11.1 - 5.8 g), spermatogenesis (spermatogenic index: 5.4 -3.0), and steroidogenesis (T: 24.8 - 1.3 ng/g testis), which may suggest their pivotal inhibitory modulation role in the regression of seasonal reproductive activity in ganders. The LD conditions (similar to spring-summer) resulted in earlier peripheral changes in T (0.9 vs. 1.8 ng/mL), LH (1.1 vs. 3.8 ng/mL), and PRL (296.1 vs. 161.2 ng/mL) concentrations than in short day, and this may be related to the advance in the timing of the sexual activity failure observed under natural light regimes. The lack of differences in gonadal and lactotrophic axis mRNA expression after LD treatment suggested a regulation based on the posttranslational mechanisms or modification of transcript or protein.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1332-1341
Number of pages10
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Elsevier Inc.


  • Domestic goose
  • Gene expression
  • Reproduction
  • Spermatogenesis
  • Testis


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