Male Japanese quail were castrated when sexually immature and immediately exposed to one of the following stimulatory lighting regimes for 52 days: 11 h light: 13 h darkness/day (11L:13D), 12L:12D, 13L:11D, 14L:10D, 15L:9D, 16L:8D, 20L:4D or 23L:1D. One group was retained on short days (8L:16D). Clearcut differences in the plasma levels of LH and FSH emerged between the various groups. Levels remained very low in castrated quail on 8L:16D but were much greater in those on 14L:10D, 15L:9D, 16L:8D, 20L:4D and 23L:1D, eventually becoming 15 to 20 times higher. Less pronounced castration responses developed on 13L:11D, 12L:12D or 11L:13D. Alterations in photoperiod after day 52 caused an appropriate rise or fall in LH secretion. Photoperiodically induced suppressions were rapid, being highly significant within 4 days, but increases usually had a slower time course. When sexually mature quail (on 16L:8D) were castrated and transferred to 8L:16D they also exhibited a rapid suppression in LH secretion. Thus in quail, unlike some mammals, the photoperiodic control over gonadotrophin secretion is independent of the reproductive status of the animal at the time of castration. The results confirm the view that changes in sensitivity of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis to gonadal steroids are not a primary factor in the neural mechanisms underlying photoperiodism in quail.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism