The goal of this study was to determine whether tissue rejuvenation of the anterior pituitary with cell proliferation and apoptosis occurs during inhibition and resumption of egg-laying. White Leghorn laying hens were subjected to inhibition of laying by feed withdrawal. Feeding was resumed on the fourth day of egg-laying cessation. All birds were injected ip with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) 1 h before tissue collection. The anterior pituitary glands were collected from hens of the following groups: pretreatment (PT), 3 and 5 days after starvation (3DS and 5DS, respectively), 3 days after cessation of laying (3DC), 10 days after cessation of laying (10DC, 6 days after resumption of feeding), and the day of and 1 week after resumption of laying (RL and 1WRL, respectively). They were processed for the detection of proliferating cells and apoptotic cells by BrdU immunostaining and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated biotinylated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end-labeling (TUNEL). Immunostaining for the anterior pituitary hormones was also conducted. In the cephalic lobe the BrdU-positive cells showed a higher frequency in RL than in PT, 3DC, and 1WRL. BrdU-positive cell frequency in the caudal lobe was greater in RL than in PT. TUNEL-positive cells in both cephalic and caudal lobes were increased markedly in the RL group. Their frequency in the cephalic lobe was greater in RL than in PT, and that in the caudal lobe of RL was higher than in any other group of birds. The areas of FSH-like cells in 10DC and RL were greater than those in PT to 3DC, and those of LH-like cells in RL were greater than those of 3DS to 3DC. PRL-like cells were decreased until 3DC and then gradually increased until 1WRL. GH-, TSH-, and ACTH-like cell areas showed tendencies to increase until 3DC, with decreasing thereafter. The sizes of FSH-like cells in 10DC to 1WRL and LH-like cells in RL were larger than those around cessation of laying. These results suggest that during inhibition and resumption of laying cell proliferation and apoptosis occur in the anterior pituitary tissue, which may cause a rejuvenation of tissue to improve the function of this organ.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology