Gene expression profiling in embryonic chicken ovary during asymmetric development
The reproductive system in female birds arises as bilateral asymmetrical anlagen, excluding the birds of prey. Earlier, histological and messenger RNA (mRNA) expression profile studies of several genes related to gonadal sex differentiation in chicken embryos tried to elucidate the query of this asymmetry in a scattered manner. To understand the matter precisely, we have focused on mRNA expression of a cohort of genes (FSHR, CYP19A1, caspase 3, caspase 8) in second half of the embryonic days (E10–E18). The established role of leptin in development of the embryo and its expression in the embryonic ovary also drove us to check leptin receptor (LEPR) expression in the ovary. Increased expression of FSHR and CYP19A1 in the left ovary compared with that in the right ovary was identified (P < 0.05), promoting preferential left ovarian development and functionality. Significant high expression (P < 0.05) of the apoptotic genes in the right ovary were also involved here. Leptin probably has no direct influence on ovarian asymmetry as no significant variation in gonadal mRNA expression of LEPR was observed within the same experimental days. We propose that asymmetric expression of this cohort of genes (FSHR, CYP19A1, caspase 3, caspase 8) leads to the development of dimorphic gonads during embryogenesis.
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