The Role of Thyroid Hormone on the Development of Endothermy in White Leghorn Chickens [Gallus gallus]
Description: As chickens hatch, there is a rapid change in their physiology and metabolism associated with attaining endothermy. It is thought that thyroid hormones (TH) play a major role in regulating developmental changes at hatching. In birds, TH regulates skeletal muscle growth, which has a direct impact on the chick's ability to thermoregulate via shivering thermogenesis. To better understand the role of TH in the timing of hatching, development of thermogenic capacity, and metabolic rate, we manipulated plasma TH levels in chicken embryos beginning at 85% development (day 17 of a 21 day incubation) with either thyroperoxidase inhibitor methimazole (MMI) or supplemental triiodothyronine (T3). After TH manipulation, we characterized O2 consumption and body temperature in the thermal neutral zone and during gradual cooling. Externally pipped embryos and 1 day post hatch (dph) chicks were cooled from 35 to 15°C. Manipulation of TH altered the timing of hatching, accelerating hatching under hyperthyroid conditions and decelerating hatching with hypothyroid conditions. Cohen's d revealed a large effect size on body temperature (Tb) of EP embryos of hypothyroid animals when compared to euthyroid animals in environmental temperatures of 32°C to 15°C, which was not seen in 1dph animals. Hyperthyroid EP animals were able to maintain metabolic rate over a wider range of ambient temperatures compared to control and hypothyroid animals, but these differences disappeared in 1dph animals. Here, we find that elevating TH levels prior to hatching accelerated hatching and the animal's thermogeneic ability to respond to cooling, but these differences disappear with age.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Rippamonti, Jessica D
Partner: UNT Libraries