Expression of melatonin receptor transcripts (mel-1a, mel-1b and mel-1c) in Japanese quail oocytes and eggs
Cloning and sequencing of the cDNA for avian melatonin (MEL) receptors have made it possible to investigate the expression of these receptors in different animal tissues and organs by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Our study demonstrates for the first time, the presence of MEL receptor transcripts in maternal RNA from Japanese quail oocytes and in RNA from the early embryos of the laid eggs. Specific primers permitted discrimination between mel-1a, mel-1b and mel-1c receptor sequences, and special techniques used to obtain the biological material made it possible to avoid accidental contamination with cells of somatic origin. Mel-1c transcript was the main one found in the oocytes and was constantly present in the maternal RNA from individual ovulated oocytes, while mel-1a and mel-1b transcripts were only sporadically present. All three MEL receptor transcripts appeared in the RNA from blastoderms of laid eggs, pointing to their de novo synthesis during uterine embryo development. The relative amount of the MEL receptor transcripts was low in relation to that of β-actin, roughly 3 × 10-4 the amount of control β-actin transcript. The presence of MEL receptor transcripts and their de novo synthesis in the 24-h-old bird embryos point to their probable wider distribution and earlier appearance in development than originally thought; the existence of the corresponding functional receptor proteins in such early embryos has not previously been reported.(Received October 14 00)
(Accepted January 11 01)
Key Words: Avian embryo; Avian oocyte; Japanese quail; Maternal RNA; Melatonin receptors.
c1 All correspondence to: B. Olszanska, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding, Polish Academy of Sciences, Jastrzebiec n/Warsaw, 05 552 Poland. Tel: (+48 22) 7561 711 (to 718). Fax: (48 22) 7561 699.
p1 Permanent address: Institute of Agriecology and Biotechnology, Ukrainian Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 12 Metrologicheskaja st., Kiev 252 143, Ukraine.