Long-term selection for juvenile body weight from a common founder population resulted in two divergent chicken lines (low-weight selected line (LWS), high-weight selected line (HWS)) that display distinct food intake and blood glucose responses to exogenous neuropeptides and insulin. The objective of this study was to elucidate putative targets affecting food intake and energy homeostasis by sequencing hypothalamic RNA from LWS and HWS chickens after insulin injection. Ninety-day-old female LWS and HWS chickens were injected with either vehicle or insulin and hypothalamus collected at 1 h postinjection. Through RNA sequencing, a total of 361 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. There was greater expression of genes, mainly tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), l-aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (DDC), and vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT), involved in serotonin and dopamine biosynthesis and signaling in LWS than in HWS vehicle-injected chickens. In contrast, after insulin injection, these genes were more highly expressed in HWS than in LWS. We identified 90 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) existing only in the HWS and 121 SNPs specific to LWS and 5119 SNPs close to fixation (with absolute frequency difference ≥0.9). Four were located in genes encoding enzymes associated with serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways, such as DDC, TH, and solute carrier family 18, member 2 (VMAT). These data implicate differences in biogenic amines such as serotonin and dopamine in hypothalamic physiology between the chicken lines, and these differences might be associated with polymorphisms during long-term selection. Changes in serotonergic and dopaminergic signaling pathways in response to insulin injection suggest a role in whole-body energy homeostasis.
- Body weight-selected chickens
- Monoamine synthesis
- RNA sequencing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience