Reproduction nutrition development vol:31 issue:1 pages:47-55
The aim of this study was to compare the growth hormone (GH) receptor in liver microsomal fractions of normal chickens (Dw) and chickens carrying the dwarf gene (dw). Specific binding of GH to its hepatic receptor was significantly higher for Dw embryos from d 14 till d 20 of incubation than for dw embryos. The difference in binding was due to a decreased binding capacity but not affinity in the livers of the dwarf embryos. The same binding pattern was found in livers of adult chickens: lower binding was again caused by a lower number of GH receptors and at this stage the difference was even clearer than during embryonic development. Binding studies on livers of growing chicks demonstrated that binding was low for both genotypes, but a small though significant difference between them remained. The cause of this decrease in number of GH receptors in dwarf birds has yet to be determined but may be due to the primary action of the dwarf gene.