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Reproductive phase dependent variation in lung-associated immune system (LAIS) and expression of melatonin receptors (Mel1a and Mel1b) in the lung of the Jungle-Bush Quail (Perdicula asiatica)

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The present study was performed to assess the variation of the lung-associated immune system (LAIS) in the Jungle-Bush Quail (Perdicula asiatica (Latham, 1790)) during two different reproductive phases when differences in the circulatory level of hormones (melatonin and gonadal steroid) and environmental conditions were maximum. We noted high significant variation in size and number of bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) nodules, as well as in the size and number of non-BALT nodules, during the reproductively inactive phase (RIP; December) compared with the active phase (RAP; June). We also noted high significant variation in the percent stimulation ratio of lung lymphocyte, as well as in the concentrations of plasma melatonin and melatonin receptors, during RIP compared with RAP. Testosterone level and number of macrophages in lungs were high during RAP. Thus, we suggest that the LAIS had reproductive phase dependent variation, which could be due to (i) variation in environmental factors (photoperiod, temperature, and humidity) and (ii) circulatory level of hormones (melatonin and testosterone). Because of the importance of melatonin in avian immune regulation, we assess and document the expression of melatonin receptor types Mel1a and Mel1b in the avian lung, which suggest that the lung is a target organ for melatonin and that melatonin is an immunomodulator for lung-associated immunity in birds.

Notre étude vise à évaluer la variation du système immunitaire pulmonaire (LAIS) chez la perdicule rousse-gorge (Perdicula asiatica (Latham, 1790)) pendant deux phases reproductives distinctes durant lesquelles les différences dans les niveaux des hormones en circulation (mélatonine et stéroïdes gonadiques) et dans les conditions du milieu sont maximales. Nous notons de plus fortes variations significatives dans la taille et le nombre de nodules de tissu lymphoïde associé aux bronches (BALT), ainsi que dans la taille et le nombre des nodules non de BALT, durant la période sans reproduction (RIP, décembre) que durant la phase active de la reproduction (RAP, juin). Il y aussi une forte variation du rapport % de stimulation des lymphocytes pulmonaires, des concentrations de mélatonine plasmatique et des récepteurs de la mélatonine durant la RIP par comparaison avec la RAP. Le niveau de testostérone et le nombre de macrophages dans les poumons sont élevés durant la RAP. Nous pouvons donc supposer que le LAIS connaît une variation dépendante de la phase reproductive qui pourrait être due (i) à la variation des facteurs environnementaux (photopériode, température et humidité) et (ii) au niveau des hormones en circulation (mélatonine et testostérone). À cause de l’importance de la mélatonine dans la régulation immunitaire chez les oiseaux, nous évaluons et décrivons l’expression des récepteurs de mélatonine de types Mel1a et Mel1b dans le poumon ce qui nous laisse croire que le poumon est un organe cible de la mélatonine et que la mélatonine sert d’immunomodulateur dans l’immunité associée au poumon chez les oiseaux.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • Published since 1929, this monthly journal reports on primary research contributed by respected international scientists in the broad field of zoology, including behaviour, biochemistry and physiology, developmental biology, ecology, genetics, morphology and ultrastructure, parasitology and pathology, and systematics and evolution. It also invites experts to submit review articles on topics of current interest.
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