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Meng X.T.,Shandong Agricultural University | Meng X.T.,Shandong Key Laboratory of Animal Bioengineering and Disease Control and Prevention | Hou N.N.,Shandong Agricultural University | Hou N.N.,Shandong Key Laboratory of Animal Bioengineering and Disease Control and Prevention | And 10 more authors.
General and Comparative Endocrinology | Year: 2013

Molt, a natural behavior that is initiated at the end of a lay cycle in birds, is implicated in the regression of the reproductive system in birds followed by a rejuvenation of egg-laying potential. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the physiological basis for the apparent rejuvenation of egg production that occurs following molting. Eighty-three-week-old Hy-line hens, were obtained and subjected to forced molting. Blood and tissue samples were obtained at the beginning of molt (at 83. weeks of age), during molt (at 85. weeks of age) and postmolt (at 89. weeks of age). The laying performance, egg quality, blood parameters and gene expression in the liver and the ovary were investigated before, during and after molt. There was an obvious increase in the postmolt laying rate from 70% premolt to 93% postmolt. Eggshell thickness, albumin height, Haugh unit and egg shape index were all significantly improved after molt. The circulating levels of estrogen and progesterone were lower in the postmolt hens, whereas the concentrations of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone were not significantly affected by molt. These results indicate that enhanced hepatic yolk precursor synthesis and secretion contribute to increased postmolt laying performance. Molt enhanced the sensitivity of sex hormones in F1 follicles. Augmented gene expression in the ovary was involved in the rejuvenation of the reproductive performance of molted hens. These results suggest that facilitated yolk-precursor uptake by follicles is involved in the rejuvenation of the reproductive performance of molted hens. © 2013 Elsevier Inc. Source

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