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Animal Biotechnology
Year: 2011  |  Volume: 22  |  Issue: 2  |  Page No.: 100 - 110

Expression Profiles of Somatotropic Axis Genes in Lines of Chickens Divergently Selected for 56-Day Body Weight

Guiqin Wu, Paul B. Siegel, Elizabeth R. Gilbert, Ning Yang and Eric A. Wong    

Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate mRNA expression of somatotropic axis genes in chickens divergently selected for high (HWS) or low (LWS) body weight at 56 days of age. Gene expression was measured on days 16, 18, and 20 of incubation, day of hatch, and days 3, 7, 28, and 56 posthatch. Pituitary growth hormone mRNA raised from prehatch to posthatch, with a similar profile in both lines. Liver growth hormone receptor (GHR) mRNA was high during embryogenesis, declined to low levels at day 3 posthatch, and then increased to day 56. Expression of liver insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) mRNA increased sharply by day 28 in line HWS and day 56 in line LWS. Pectoralis major muscle GHR mRNA was greater in line LWS than HWS. Muscle IGF-1 mRNA declined during embryogenesis, increased posthatch, and declined after day 7. IGF-1 mRNA was 1,000-fold greater in embryonic muscle than embryonic liver. Muscle IGF-1 receptor mRNA was greater in line LWS than HWS posthatch. These results demonstrate that genetic selection for high or low body weight has altered the expression profiles of somatotropic axis genes in a line-, age-, and tissue-specific manner.

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