The role of retinal and extra-retinal photostimulation in reproductive activity in broiler breeder hens

N. Mobarkey*, N. Avital, R. Heiblum, I. Rozenboim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Photostimulation of retinal photoreceptors, which are sensitive to green light, appears to inhibit reproductive activity in birds, whereas photostimulation of extra-retinal photoreceptors, which are sensitive to red light, accelerates it. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of either retinal or extra-retinal photostimulation on reproductive activities of broiler breeder hens. At 23 wk of age, Cobb hens (N = 135) were divided into 9 rooms with individual cages (n = 15). At 24 wk of age, 3 rooms were photostimulated (14L:10D) with white light (Control, n = 45). Six rooms had 2 parallel lighting systems, red (660 nm) and green (560 nm), which were both on during 6 out of 14 h of the light period. Then, in 3 of these rooms, the green light was turned off and hens were exposed to a total of 14 h of red light (Red, n = 45), and in the other 3, the red light was turned off and green lighting continued for a total of 14 h (Green, n = 45). The Green group had reduced egg production; reduced plasma concentrations of ovarian steroids; reduced luteinizing hormone (LH)-β, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and prolactin mRNA expression; and greater retinal green opsin mRNA expression (P ≤ 0.05). The Red group had greater egg production; greater gonadotropin-releasing hormone-I (GnRH-I) and red opsin gene expression in the hypothalamus; and lesser green opsin gene expression in the retina (P ≤ 0.05). We suggest that selective photostimulation of extra-retinal photostimulation as opposed to retinal photostimulation is a key factor in the determination of successful reproduction of broiler breeder hens.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)235-243
Number of pages9
JournalDomestic Animal Endocrinology
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development # 820-0221. The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.

Keywords

  • Brain
  • Broiler breeder hen
  • Eye
  • Red and green light
  • Reproduction

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