Ghrelin's potential role in reproduction for the broiler breeder hen
Freeman, Martha Elizabeth
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In mammalian species ghrelin production increases with fasting and effects mammalian reproduction by decreasing gonadotropin secretion from the pituitary, however, there has been little research into ghrelin’s effects on avian reproduction. While it is known in avian species that fasting promotes ovarian regression, identification of the hormonal signaling pathways that translate the lack of sufficient energy intake into a reduction in reproductive capability has not occured. Therefore the goal of this research was to explore if ghrelin is a direct link between nutritional status and reproduction in avian species by (1) determining if ghrelin or GHSR mRNA expression is present within the avian ovary, (2) investigating if fasting changes GHSR mRNA expression in the ovary or plasma levels of ghrelin, (3) exploring the effects of gonadotropins and sex steroids upon GHSR mRNA expression in granulosa cells, and (4) investigating if ghrelin influences progesterone secretion or GHSR mRNA expression in granulosa cells.