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Expression of androgen and estrogen receptors in the testicular tissue of chickens, quails and chicken-quail hybrids

Herong Liao
Xiaoling Guo
Lingling Zhou
Yan Li
Xingming Li
Du Liang
Daquan Li
Ningying Xu


36 New Roman cocks, 30 Korean male quails and 30 chicken-quail hybrids of different day-age were selected and their body weight and testes weights were measured and as well, their testes were collected. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to evaluate the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression patterns of androgen receptors (AR) and estrogen receptors (ER) genes in testicular tissue of chickens, quails and chicken-quail hybrids at different growth stages. The results show that the testes of chickens and quails grew and developed normally with body weight gain, but the testes of chicken-quail hybrids had a slower growth rate and stunted growth. Real-time PCR showed AR and ER mRNA expression patterns in testes of chickens and quails at different growth stages were similar. AR mRNA expression in chickens and quails reached a significant peak at 80 and 30 days of age, respectively and their ER gene expression showed fluctuation slightly. The AR and ER expression of chicken-quail hybrids were different from the above expression patterns; the hybrids AR gene expression showed a gradual decline and ER gene expression gradually increased. The chickenquail hybrids AR and ER gene expression was abnormal and we speculate this is an important molecular factor for the testicular dysplasia of chicken-quail hybrids. Our results show that AR gene expression was upregulated by ER gene and we suggest that the synergetic effect of AR and ER gene regulated the normal testis growth and development of chicken and quail.

Keywords: Chicken, quail, chicken-quail hybrid, testis, androgen receptors (AR), estrogen receptors (ER) expression

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 11(29), pp. 7344-7353, 10 April, 2012

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eISSN: 1684-5315