Double immunocytochemistry of vasoactive intestinal peptide and cGnRH-I in male quail: Photoperiodic effects

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Reproduction in Japanese quail is primarily regulated by photoperiod. Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) has been suggested as a transducer of environmental information, especially photoperiodic cues, to the hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal axis. To investigate the possible interaction of VIP and the reproductive (gonadotropin-releasing hormone, GnRH) system, double-immunocytochemical staining for VIP and cGnRH-I was conducted in sexually mature male quail held under a long-day photoperiod (16L:8D; LD) and in sexually quiescent males held under a short-day photoperiod (8L:16D; SD). VIP-immunoreactive (ir) cells were found primarily in three locations: lateral septal organ (LSO) in nucleus accumbens (Ac), ventral hypothalamus, and infundibular area. VIP-ir cells in LSO displayed characteristics typical of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-contacting cells, and co-existed with cGnRH-I-ir cells and beaded fibers. In contrast, VIP-ir cells in the infundibular area did not co-exist with cGnRH-I-ir structures. The number of visible VIP-ir cells in the infundibular area of SD males was significantly lower than that of LD males, while the number of visible VIP-ir cells in Ac/LSO was not altered by photoperiod. A cluster of cGnRH-I-ir cells in the caudalmost septal area was heavily innervated by VIP-ir fibers, which appeared to contact cGnRH-I-ir cells directly at this location. Both VIP- and cGnRH-I-ir fibers heavily innervated the external layer of the median eminence (ME). These data suggest that Ac/LSO, the caudalmost septal area, and ME are possible sites of interaction between the VIP and the GnRH systems.

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Cell and Tissue Research

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