Feeding state and age dependent changes in melaninconcentrating hormone expression in the hypothalamus of broiler chickens

Ádám Simon, J. Németh, András Jávor, István Komlósi, Péter Bai, János Oláh, B. Juhász, Rita Kiss, Z. Szilvássy, Levente Czeglédi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We aimed to quantify the gene expression changes of the potent orexigenic melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH) in chicken (Gallus gallus) hypothalamus with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), and for the first time determine peptide concentrations with a novel radioimmunoassay (RIA) under different feeding status. Three different experimental conditions, namely ad libitum feeding; fasting for 24 h; fasting for 24 h and then refeeding for 2 h, were applied to study changes of the aforementioned target and its receptor (MCHR4) gene expression under different nutritional status. The relative changes of MCH and MCHR4 were also studied from 7 to 35 days of age. Expression of PMCH and MCHR4 along the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) was also investigated. We found that expression of both targets was significant in the hypothalamus, while only weak expression was detected along the GIT. Different nutritional states did not affect the PMCH and MCHR4 mRNA levels. However, fasting for 24 h had significantly increased the MCH-like immunoreactivity by 25.65%. Fasting for 24 h and then refeeding for 2 h had further significantly increased the MCH peptide concentration by 32.51%, as compared to the ad libitum state. A decreasing trend with age was observable for both, the PMCH and MCHR4 mRNA levels, and also for the MCH-like immunoreactivity. Correlation analysis did not result in a significant correlation between MCH peptide concentration and abdominal fat mass in ad libitum fed birds. In conclusion, MCH peptide concentration altered in response to 24 h fasting, which indicated that this peptide may take part in feed intake regulation of broiler chickens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-258
Number of pages8
JournalActa Biochimica Polonica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Chicken
  • Feeding states
  • Hypothalamus
  • MCH
  • QPCR
  • RIA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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