The reproductive system of chickens undergoes dynamic morphological and functional tissue remodeling during the molting period. The present study identified global gene expression profiles following oviductal tissue regression and regeneration in laying hens in which molting was induced by feeding high levels of zinc in the diet. During the molting and recrudescence processes, progressive morphological and physiological changes included regression and re-growth of reproductive organs and fluctuations in concentrations of testosterone, progesterone, estradiol and corticosterone in blood. The cDNA microarray analysis of oviductal tissues revealed the biological significance of gene expression-based modulation in oviductal tissue during its remodeling. Based on the gene expression profiles, expression patterns of selected genes such as, TF, ANGPTL3, p20K, PTN, AvBD11 and SERPINB3 exhibited similar patterns in expression with gradual decreases during regression of the oviduct and sequential increases during resurrection of the functional oviduct. Also, miR-1689* inhibited expression of Sp1, while miR-17-3p, miR-22* and miR-1764 inhibited expression of STAT1. Similarly, chicken miR-1562 and miR-138 reduced the expression of ANGPTL3 and p20K, respectively. These results suggest that these differentially regulated genes are closely correlated with the molecular mechanism(s) for development and tissue remodeling of the avian female reproductive tract, and that miRNA-mediated regulation of key genes likely contributes to remodeling of the avian reproductive tract by controlling expression of those genes post-transcriptionally. The discovered global gene profiles provide new molecular candidates responsible for regulating morphological and functional recrudescence of the avian reproductive tract, and provide novel insights into understanding the remodeling process at the genomic and epigenomic levels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas