General and Comparative Endocrinology vol:76 issue:2 pages:322-9
Uterine concentrations of calbindin D 28K mRNA were measured in immature pullets and laying hens by dot-blot hybridization using a [32P]cRNA probe prepared from the calbindin cDNA. In immature pullets, estrogen increased the calbindin mRNA level and the plasma concentration of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25-(OH)2D3]. When testosterone was administered with estrogen there was a further increase in calbindin and its mRNA and an increase in the free 1,25-(OH)2D3 index calculated as the ratio of the molar concentrations of total 1,25-(OH)2D3 and vitamin D-binding protein (DBP). In laying hens the uterine concentration of calbindin mRNA was low 4 hr after ovulation, but increased most markedly 12 and 18 hr later, when shell calcification took place. Calbindin concentration remained unchanged during the different stages of egg formation but was much higher in laying hens than in pullets treated with sex steroids. Suppression of shell formation by premature expulsion of the egg decreased the concentrations of calbindin mRNA and uterine calbindin and the free 1,25-(OH)2D3 index in the plasma. A concomitant increase in calbindin and its mRNA was observed at resumption of shell formation in hens previously laying shell-less eggs. Withdrawal of food for 44 hr decreased the uterine concentration of calbindin and its mRNA without a change in the free 1,25-(OH)2D3 index in the blood. It is concluded that the synthesis of uterine calbindin is stimulated primarily at sexual maturity and at calcification of the first shell by transcriptional processes. The daily increase in calbindin mRNA associated with shell formation and the absence of a concomitant change in calbindin concentration suggest that post-transcriptional processes exist and that stimuli other than the sex steroid or the 1,25-(OH)2D3 are involved in regulation of calbindin synthesis in the uterus.