Active immunization against vasoactive intestinal polypeptide decreases neuronal recruitment and inhibits reproduction in zebra finches

Yulia Vistoropsky, Rachel Heiblum, Nechama Ina Smorodinsky, Anat Barnea*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Neurogenesis and neuronal recruitment occur in adult brains of many vertebrates, and the hypothesis is that these phenomena contribute to the brain plasticity that enables organisms to adjust to environmental changes. In mammals, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP) is known to have many neuroprotective properties, but in the avian brain, although widely distributed, its role in neuronal recruitment is not yet understood. In the present study we actively immunized adult zebra finches against VIP conjugated to KLH and compared neuronal recruitment in their brains, with brains of control birds, which were immunized against KLH. We looked at two forebrain regions: the nidopallium caudale (NC), which plays a role in vocal communication, and the hippocampus (HC), which is involved in the processing of spatial information. Our data demonstrate that active immunization against VIP reduces neuronal recruitment, inhibits reproduction, and induces molting, with no change in plasma prolactin levels. Thus, our observations suggest that VIP has a direct positive role in neuronal recruitment and reproduction in birds. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2516–2528, 2016.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2516-2528
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Volume524
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • MicroBrightField
  • RRID: AB_323427
  • RRID: SciRes_000114
  • RRID:AB_2314656
  • Stereo Investigator
  • VIP
  • anti-BrdU
  • anti-HuC/HuD
  • birds
  • brain
  • neuronal recruitment
  • prolactin
  • reproduction

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