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We report on the construction of a leptin bioassay based on the activation of chicken leptin receptor in cultured cells. A human embryonic kidney (HEK)-293 cell line, stably transfected with the full-length cDNA of chicken leptin receptor together with a STAT3-responsive reporter gene specifically responded to recombinant human and Xenopus leptins. The(More)
Unsuccessful attempts to identify the leptin gene in birds are well documented, despite the characterization of its receptor (LEPR). Since leptin and LEPR have poor sequence conservation among vertebrates, we speculated that a functional assay should represent the best way to detect leptin in birds. Using a leptin bioassay that is based on activation of the(More)
Leptin, the key regulator of mammalian energy balance, has been at the center of a great controversy in avian biology for the last 15 years since initial reports of a putative leptin gene (LEP) in chickens. Here, we characterize a novel LEP in rock dove (Columba livia) with low similarity of the predicted protein sequence (30% identity, 47% similarity) to(More)
The study of gene function in vivo is considered one of the top achievements of modern biology, inasmuch as it provides tools to study gene function in the context of the whole animal. In chickens, techniques of DNA-mediated gene transfer are less advanced than in other animal or livestock models, and remain a significant challenge. The study presented here(More)
The lack of affordable techniques for gene transfer in birds has inhibited the advancement of molecular studies in avian species. Here we demonstrate a new approach for introducing genes into chicken somatic tissues by administration of a lentiviral vector, derived from the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), into the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of(More)
Agonists of membranal melanocortin 3 and 4 receptors (MC3/4Rs) are known to take part in the complex control mechanism of energy balance. In this study, we compared the physiological response to an exogenous MC3/4R agonist and the hypothalamic expression of proopic melanocortin (POMC) gene, encoding few MC3/4R ligands, between broiler and layer chicken(More)
Formation and remodeling of vascular beds are complex processes orchestrated by multiple signaling pathways. Although it is well accepted that vessels of a particular organ display specific features that enable them to fulfill distinct functions, the embryonic origins of tissue-specific vessels and the molecular mechanisms regulating their formation are(More)
Despite the importance of the chicken as a model system, our understanding of the development of chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs) is far from complete. Here we characterized the morphology of PGCs at different developmental stages, their migration pattern in the dorsal mesentery of the chicken embryo, and the distribution of the EMA1 epitope on PGCs.(More)
Formation and remodeling of vascular beds are complex processes orchestrated by multiple signaling pathways. Although it is well accepted that vessels of a particular organ display specific features that enable them to fulfill distinct functions, the embryonic origins of tissue-specific vessels and the molecular mechanisms regulating their formation are(More)