Previous studies showed that changes of gonadal weight and of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) receptor number in response to fluctuations in natural environmental conditions are smaller in female than in male Indian weaver bird (Ploceus philippinus). Therefore, we studied whether the response to artificial photoperiodic changes differs between the sexes. Birds were transferred to short-day (SD) photoperiods during the breeding phase (June). Other birds were subjected to long-day (LD) photoperiods during the nonbreeding phase (December). Exposure to SD for 10 weeks induced a marked testicular weight decrease. Similarly, FSH binding per unit testicular weight as well as per two testes decreased after SD exposure. The influence of photoperiodic manipulations on the ovarian weight was much smaller than that on the testicular weight. SD exposure did not alter FSH binding either per unit ovarian weight or per ovary. Plasma gonadotropin concentration significantly decreased in both sexes subjected to SD environment. On the other hand, exposure to LD significantly increased testicular weight. LD exposure slightly increased ovarian weight, but the increase was statistically not significant. FSH binding per unit testicular weight markedly increased 10 weeks after transfer to LD. The total FSH binding per two testes showed a parallel change with the testicular weight. However, there was no significant increase in FSH binding per unit ovarian weight during 10 weeks of LD exposure. Although LD exposure for 10 weeks significantly increased the total FSH binding per ovary, the rate of increase was much smaller than that in the testes. The plasma gonadotropin level in both sexes was increased by LD exposure. Scatchard plot analyses of FSH binding indicated that FSH binding changes were due to changes in binding site number. These results suggest that photoperiod regulates FSH receptor numbers particularly in the testis. Such an effect is manifested by marked changes in the testicular weight under different photoperiodic conditions in the subtropical bird.
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