Reproduction nutrition development vol:29 issue:2 pages:219-226
Plasma concentrations of thyroxine (T4), triiodothyronine (T3), reversed triiodothyronine (rT3), and insulin-like growth factors I and II (IGF-I, IGF-II) together with peripheral 5'-monodeiodination activity were measured in both normal and sex-linked dwarf embryos between day 14 of incubation and day 1 posthatch. Plasma T4 levels increased gradually during embryonic development while T3 concentrations remained low until day 20, when a sharp increase was observed. rT3 levels also increased from day 14 and dropped on day 20 when T3 levels started to increase. 5'-monodeiodination activity was high on day 14 of incubation, decreased thereafter, and showed an increase at the time of air sac penetration together with increased T3 levels. At this stage, differences between normal and dwarf embryos were observed; the latter had lower nonsignificant 5'-Monodeiodination activity and lower (P less than 0.01) plasma T3 levels. Plasma IGF-II levels were high during the whole embryonic period studied. Dwarf embryos had lower (P less than 0.05) IGF-II levels at the time of hatching. IGF-I levels were high on days 14 and 16, declined afterwards, and started to increase again around hatching. With the exception of T3 and IGF-II levels, introduction of the dwarf gene did not cause major changes in the hormonal parameters studied. This may explain the identical body weight at hatching.