Recent Advances in the Relationship between Endocrine Status and Nutrition in Chickens - Review -

  • Okumura, J. (Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University) ;
  • Kita, K. (Laboratory of Grassland Science, University Farm, School of Agricultural Sciences, Nagoya University)
  • Published : 1999.11.01


A large number of investigations have shown that changes in nutritional condition affect endocrine status in avian species. Herein, recent findings including novel peptides discovered by the development of the techniques in the field of molecular biology have been reviewed. The insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II) found in chickens have been characterized and shown to be 70 and 66 amino acid polypeptides, respectively. Plasma IGF-I level is very responsive to nutrition, Le. varying dietary proteins and energy intakes, and food restriction. Plasma IGF-II concentration is altered by nutritional deprivation to a much smaller extent than plasma IGF-I concentration. Almost all of the serum and tissue IGFs are found in a complex composed of IGF and IGF-binding protein (IGFBP). In the chicken plasma, the major IGFBP differs from that in mammalian plasma. The proglucagon mRNA encodes glucagon and two glucagon-like peptides (GLP-I and GLP-2). The intracerebroventricular administration of GLP-l strongly decreased food intake of chicks, and it was indicated that the inhibition of food intake by GLP-l was associated with neuropeptide Y, which is one of the neurotransmitters reported to enhance food intake.

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