Immunoreactive (ir-) adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and β-endorphin (βE) levels were determined in seven brain regions, in the three pituitary lobes, and in the plasma of the domestic gander by specific radioimmunoassays. In the brain regions studied the relative concentrations of ir-ACTH and ir-βE were the highest in the mediobasal hypothalamus and in the paraventricular nucleus. There were lower levels of these peptides in the supraoptic nucleus, in the septum, and in the dorsal thalamus. Very low ir- ACTH and -βE contents were found in the archistriatum and in the lobus parolfactorius. In the pars distalis of the pituitary gland the cephalic lobe contained about 10 times more ir-ACTH (3596 pmol/lobe) and 4 times more ir- βE (867 pmol/lobe) than the caudal lobe (383 pmol/lobe and 189 pmol/lobe, respectively). Sephadex G-50 chromatography of pooled cephalic and caudal lobe extracts resulted in two distinct ir-βE peaks, with elution volumes corresponding to the mammalian β-lipotropin and βE, and three ir-ACTH peaks, the second one coeluting with mammalian ACTH. In the neural lobe the ir-ACTH/-βE concentrations were similar to those in the hypothalamus. Resting plasma ir-ACTH (12.8 ± 1.47 pmol/ml) but not ir-βE (31.4 ± 1.22 pmol/ml) levels were significantly increased following castration (to 41.4 ± 1.11 pmol/ml). Serial blood sampling indicated pulsatile ir-βE secretion (mean, coefficients of variation, and minimum-maximum range: 17.5, 62.78, and 2.9-49.7, respectively, for gender 1 and 23.3, 62.85, and 5.00-61.5, respectively, for gander 2).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology