Incubation humidity as an environmental stressor on the osmoregulatory developmental program of the chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus.

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Fetal programming results from stressors during fetal development and may influence the occurrence of disease later in life. Maternal nutritional status and/or environment can affect renal development by inducing limited nephron endowment at birth, which results in diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease in mammals. Birds are likely to be effective models for this process because, like mammals, they have high pressure cardiovascular systems, mammalian-type nephrons and are homeothermic. This project uses the chicken embryo to explore physiological responses of disrupted hydration state thereby providing insights into renal fetal programming. Under normal conditions the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and ... continued below

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Bolin, Greta M. August 2009.

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  • Bolin, Greta M.

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Fetal programming results from stressors during fetal development and may influence the occurrence of disease later in life. Maternal nutritional status and/or environment can affect renal development by inducing limited nephron endowment at birth, which results in diseases such as hypertension and coronary heart disease in mammals. Birds are likely to be effective models for this process because, like mammals, they have high pressure cardiovascular systems, mammalian-type nephrons and are homeothermic. This project uses the chicken embryo to explore physiological responses of disrupted hydration state thereby providing insights into renal fetal programming. Under normal conditions the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and developing avian kidney work in unison to ensure a proper balance of ions and water within the egg. White leghorn chicken eggs were incubated at 37.5oC±0.5oC and either <35%, 55-60% (normal) or >85% relative humidity. Amniotic fluid serves as the drinking source for the embryo late in development; its composition is important to salt and water homeostasis. High amniotic fluid osmolality increased the blood osmolality for embryos exposed to low humidity incubation thereby indirectly influencing the renal developmental program of the embryos from this group. Indeed estimated filtering capacity was doubled in the low humidity group (6.77 ± 0.43 mm3) compared to normal (4.80 ± 0.33 mm3) and high (3.97 ± 0.30 mm3) humidity groups. The increased filtering capacity seen for those embryos from low humidity may indicate the ability for more efficient recovery of water if similarly stressed as an adult bird. All embryo populations maintained similar oxygen consumption (0.075 ml/min - 0.37 ml/min), hematocrit (15 % - 32 %) and hemoglobin values (4 g/dl - 9 g/dl), thus displaying control over these aspects of the internal environment despite the obvious environmental insult of extreme incubation humidity. These results signify the embryo's immature kidney, along with lower gastrointestinal tract, functions much like the adult form maintaining homeostasis, although the mechanisms may differ. The overall benefits of this research included better understanding of the role the kidney during embryonic development and determining whether environmental factors, such as humidity, leave an imprint on morphological and physiological aspects of the urinary system of the embryo and water compartments of the egg.

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  • August 2009

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  • Nov. 19, 2009, 8:17 p.m.

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  • Jan. 21, 2014, 3:53 p.m.

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Bolin, Greta M. Incubation humidity as an environmental stressor on the osmoregulatory developmental program of the chicken, Gallus gallus domesticus., dissertation, August 2009; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc11055/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .