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Impact of estrogen and photoperiod on arginine vasotocin and VT3 receptor expression in the shell gland of quail
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Role of estrogen and photoperiod is well-established in avian reproduction. In addition, the distribution and the expression of arginine vasotocin (AVT) and its receptor VT3 to ensure reproductive/breeding conditions in Japanese quail influenced by them has been the main focus of this review. To consider this aspect the mRNA expression of VT3 receptor and its ligand AVT in the shell gland has been emphasized. In birds, AVT performs a dual role as an anti-diuretic hormone and the functions accomplished by oxytocin in mammals. The physiological actions of AVT in birds are mediated through its diverse receptor subtypes VT1, VT2, VT3 and VT4. Dynamic alteration of VT3 expression during different reproductive and photo-sexual conditions of quail can be modulated by estrogen. In addition to the endocrine effect of AVT, the shell gland is complemented by its paracrine action via its receptors. Evidences indicate that the expression of shell gland AVT modulated by estrogen appears to play a priming role by modulating the availability of VT3 receptor for the required action of neurohypophysial AVT during oviposition.