Submitted to: Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery
Publication Type: Review article
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/15/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: Birds use a variety of reproductive strategies to reproduce under a diversity of conditions and environments. Endocrine and behavioral components of reproduction are directed by the hypothalamus, a region within the brain, in response to environmental triggers, such as the duration of light. Superimposed on these triggers are internal factors such as stage of the life cycle and general health. The primary component of the "integrated" reproductive system are the brain and gonads. Accessory organs, which include the male and female reproductive tracts, are also critical to reproductive success. Moreover, endocrine and behavioral components of reproduction must function synchronously for successful reproduction. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the male and female reproductive endocrine system in birds. This will include neuroendocrine regulation of hypothalamic and pituitary gland hormones, gonadal function, and reproductive tract function.
Technical Abstract: The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the avian reproductive system. Attention will be given to the neuroendocrine regulation of hypothalamic and pituitary gland hormones as well as the target tissues regulated by these hormones. Emphasis will be placed on the dynamics of the system and the subsequent effects of alterations due to environmental and other influences as they affect the function of the system. The ovulatory cycle, oviducts, and shell gland will be discussed relative to formation of the egg and hormonal regulation of this process. Testicular function and the cellular bases for spermatogenesis and steroid production will also be discussed.