Widespread patterns of sexually dimorphic gene expression in an avian hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis

Academic Article



    The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis is a key biological system required for reproduction and associated sexual behaviors to occur. In the avian reproductive model of the rock dove ( Columba livia ), we characterized the transcript community of each tissue of the HPG axis in both sexes, thereby significantly expanding our mechanistic insight into HPG activity. We report greater sex-biased differential expression in the pituitary as compared to the hypothalamus, with multiple genes more highly expressed in the male pituitary being related to secretory function, and multiple genes more highly expressed in the female pituitary being related to reproduction, growth, and development. We report tissue-specific and sex-biased expression in genes commonly investigated when studying reproduction, highlighting the need for sex parity in future studies. In addition, we uncover new targets of investigation in both sexes, which could potentially change our understanding of HPG function.
  • Authors

  • MacManes, Matthew
  • Austin, Suzanne
  • Booth, Andrew
  • Austin, April
  • Farrar, Victoria
  • Calisi, Rebecca
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • 2016
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)