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Immunocytochemistry was used to determine if photoperiod and/or sex have any effect on the pattern of the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) system in the brain of the Japanese quail. Immunopositive perikarya were found within three major areas of the brain: the rostral paraolfactory lobe, the preoptic, and the septal region. A quantitative analysis of LHRH cell numbers was performed on male and female quail after two photoperiodic treatments: sexually mature birds exposed to 24 weeks of 20 h light: 4 h darkness (20L:4D), and birds with a regressed reproductive system (induced by transfer from a photoregime of 20L:4D to 25 short days of 8L:16D). Two-way analysis of variance showed that short-day males display significantly (p less than 0.05) more immunopositive perikarya (607 +/- 134) than long-day males (291 +/- 114), short-day females (293 +/- 103) or long-day females (330 +/- 92). The density of LHRH-immunoreactive nerve fibres and the intensity of the immunostaining in the median eminence were always greater in long-day sexually mature quail (male and female) than in animals exposed to 25 days of 8L:16D. These results demonstrate that the LHRH system of the quail is influenced by photoperiod and mirrors sexual differentiation.


Journal article


Cell Tissue Res

Publication Date





327 - 335


Animals, Antibody Specificity, Brain, Cell Count, Circadian Rhythm, Coturnix, Female, Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone, Immunohistochemistry, Male, Quail, Reproduction, Sex Characteristics