Characterization and immunohistochemical visualization of the vasotocin VT2 receptor in the pituitary gland of the chicken, Gallus gallus.
Additional Document Info
Arginine vasotocin is a neurohypophysial hormone in lower vertebrates including birds. Its actions are mediated through G-protein coupled receptors that belong to the vasopressin/oxytocin receptor family. Our laboratory recently cloned a vasotocin receptor, designated the VT2 receptor (VT2R), which shares high sequence identity at both the nucleotide and amino acid level with the mammalian V1b vasopressin receptor (V1bR). In the present study, we report development and use of an antibody to the VT2R to obtain anatomical evidence for testing the hypothesis that the VT2R is the avian homolog of the mammalian V1bR. Results verified the specificity of the antibody and demonstrated a receptor distribution occurring predominantly in the cephalic lobe of the pars distalis and co-localizing with adrenocorticotropin in corticotrophs. With respect to VT2R distribution and cell-type localization in pituitary gland, evidence presented support its similarity with the mammalian V1bR. In contrast to the mammalian V1bR, VT2R expression was not observed in chicken brain. Further research will be required to determine which receptor/s in the arginine vasotocin/mesotocin family are expressed in brain and mediate regulatory functions of vasotocin in the central nervous system.