Physiology, endocrinology, and reproduction, the effect of active immunization against vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and inhibin on reproductive performance of aging white leghorn roosters

N. Avital-Cohen, R. Heiblum, N. Argov, A. Rosenstrauch, Y. Chaiseha, N. Mobarkey, I. Rozenboim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Decreasing fertility in aging domestic roosters is a well-known phenomenon. Aging is manifested by a decrease in plasma testosterone level, testis function, and spermatogenesis, resulting in a low level of fertility. The roles of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and testicular inhibin in this aging process are not clear. The effects of active immunization against VIP, inhibin, or the combination of both hormones on the reproduction of aging White Leghorn (WL) roosters were assayed. In experiment 1a, 60 White Leghorn roosters (67 wk of age) were divided into 4 groups (n = 15/group). The first group was actively immunized against VIP, the second against inhibin, the third against VIP and inhibin, and the fourth served as a control. Active immunization against VIP decreased semen quality parameters, plasma steroid levels, and gene expression of gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH-I), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), LH receptor, VIP, and prolactin (Prl). Immunization against inhibin increased some of the semen quality parameters and FSH mRNA gene expression but decreased inhibin gene expression. In experiment 1b, at 94 wk of age, we took the actively immunized against VIP group and the control group and divided them into 2 subgroups (n = 7 or 8): the first group was injected with 1 mg of ovine Prl (oPrl) daily for 7 d, and the second group served as a control. Administration of oPrl to previously VIP-immunized birds significantly elevated semen quality parameters. We suggest that VIP, Prl, and inhibin have an important effect on the reproductive axis in aging roosters. Active immunization against VIP-depressed reproductive activity and Prl administration restored their reproduction, indicating that both VIP and Prl are essential for reproduction in aging roosters. Immunization against inhibin improved FSH mRNA gene expression, suggesting a negative role of inhibin on FSH secretion in aging roosters. Not all semen quality parameters increased significantly after immunization against inhibin, even though FSH mRNA gene expression increased, suggesting interference in testicular function in aging roosters.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)161-174
Number of pages14
JournalPoultry Science
Volume91
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Keywords

  • Inhibin
  • Reproduction
  • Semen quality
  • Testis
  • Vasoactive intestinal peptide

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