Acta Vet. Brno 2009, 78: 563-569

Effect of Simulated Microgravity on Sexual Development of Male Japanese Quail

Peter Škrobánek1, Magda Baranovská1, Božena Šárniková1, Marian Juráni1, Michal Zeman2, Viera Cigánková3

1Institute of Animal Biochemistry and Genetics, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Ivanka pri Dunaji, Slovak Republic
2Department of Animal Physiology and Ethology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
3Department of Anatomy, Histology and Physiology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Košice, Slovak Republic

Received February 3, 2009
Accepted April 6, 2009

Hypodynamia can be used to simulate weightlessness in laboratory conditions. The objective of our study was to investigate the effects of chronic hypodynamia on the growth and development of the testes and cloacal gland, and plasma testosterone concentration in Japanese quail. The testis weight in males reared under hypodynamia was significantly lower compared to agematched control between 21 and 63 days of age (P < 0.05). The cloacal gland area of experimental birds calculated from its width and length was also smaller in comparison with control quail from 35 to 56 days of age (P < 0.05). The foam production was significantly lower in hypodynamia males at age 35, 42, 49 and 63 days (P < 0.05). The plasma testosterone concentration was significantly reduced in hypodynamia birds between 35 and 70 days of age (P < 0.05), with the exception of day 56. These results provide further evidence that although hypodynamia negatively affects the examined variables, the male Japanese quail is able to develop normally under conditions of simulated weightlessness.