Reinitiation of ovulatory cycles in incubating female turkeys by an inhibitor of serotonin synthesis, p-chlorophenylalanine

M. E. Halawani, J. L. Silsby, S. C. Fehrer, E. J. Behnke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nest deprivation of incubating turkeys caused a decrease in serum prolactin (Prl) levels from 1184.5 ± 116.4 ng/ml to 896.8 ± 83.0 ng/ml 1 day after initiation of deprivation, with a further decline to 156.5 ± 111.7 ng/ml at the end of the 22-day experimental period. Serum luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone and estradiol levels following nest deprivation were similar to those in birds allowed to incubate (controls). Oral administration of p-chlorophenylalanine (PCPA, 50 mg/kg) to incubating turkeys for 3 consecutive days reduced nesting frequency (P < 0.05) on the 4th day after initiation of treatment and the nesting virtually ceased by the 9th day. Pretreatment Prl was 1655 ± 210 ng/ml and declined (P < 0.05) after PCPA administration to a low of 28.6 ± 2.8 ng/ml. In addition, PCPA caused a sustained rise in serum LH peaking (5.59 ± 1.09 ng/ml) 3 days after treatment initiation. Contrary to nest deprivation, serum levels of progesterone and estradiol increased (P < 0.05) as a consequence of PCPA treatment. Seven of 8 PCPA-treated birds later came into lay when their Prl levels and nesting frequency increased again. The results suggest a role for serotonin (5-HT) in incubation behavior, and Prl and LH secretion in turkeys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-228
Number of pages8
JournalBiology of reproduction
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1983

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