Ovarian involvement in the suppression of luteinizing hormone in the incubating Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

M. E. El Haltiwani*, J. L. Silshy, L. K. Foster, I. Rozenboim, D. N. Foster

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A series of experiments were conducted to elucidate the role of the ovary in incubation behavior-associated luteinizing hormone (LH) suppression. Ovariectomy (Ovx) increased (p < 0.05) serum LH levels in nonphotostimulated, laying and photorefractory turkeys but not in incubating birds (p > 0.05). Ovx had no effect on intramuscularly injected mammalian luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (4 μg/kg i.m.)-induced LH in incubating hens, but enhanced the LH response in laying hens. Serum LH and prolactin (Prl) were unaffected by Ovx, and nest deprivation (ND) decreased Prl levels (p < 0.05) with no effect on serum LH of incubating turkeys. However, serum LH increased (p < 0.05) and Prl decreased in Ovx-ND birds. Prl mRNA abundance (11.9 ± 1.2 ng/μg total RNA) decreased following Ovx (3.4 ± 0.4 ng/ug total RNA) or ND (3.6 ± 0.5 ng/ug total RNA). Nest deprivation increased LHp mRNA (2.5-fold) which was further increased (4.8-fold) by Ovx. Hypothalamic GnRH-I and GnRH-II contents increased (p < 0.05) in Ovx-ND turkeys. We conclude that serum LH suppression during incubation behavior requires ovarian participation acting synergistically with elevated Prl and/or nesting stimulus on hypothalamic GnRH, and that the concentration fo LHp mRNA may be a limiting factor in LH secretion.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Avian species
  • Hypothalamic luteinizing Hormone-releasing hormone I and II
  • Incubation behavior
  • Nesting activity effects, PRL mRNA LH mRNA, LH, PRL
  • Ovariectomy effects, PRL mRNA LH mRNA, LH, PRL
  • Turkeys


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