Transcriptomics of Parental Care in the Hypothalamic–Septal Region of Female Zebra Finch Brain

Kumari, Rashmi and Fazekas, Emese Alexandra and Morvai, Boglárka and Udvari, Edina Brigitta and Dóra, Fanni and Zachar, Gergely and Pogány, Ákos and Dobolyi, Árpád (2022) Transcriptomics of Parental Care in the Hypothalamic–Septal Region of Female Zebra Finch Brain. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR SCIENCES, 23 (5). No. 2518. ISSN 1661-6596

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(1) Background: The objective of this study was to uncover genomic causes of parental care. Since birds do not lactate and, therefore, do not show the gene expressional changes required for lactation, we investigate gene expression associated with parenting in caring and non-caring females in an avian species, the small passerine bird zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata). Here, we compare expression patterns in the hypothalamic–septal region since, previously, we showed that this area is activated in parenting females. (2) Methods: Transcriptome sequencing was first applied in a dissected part of the zebra finch brain related to taking care of the nestlings as compared to a control group of social pairs without nestlings. (3) Results: We found genes differentially expressed between caring and non-caring females. When introducing a log2fold change threshold of 1.5, 13 annotated genes were significantly upregulated in breeding pairs, while 39 annotated genes were downregulated. Significant enrichments of dopamine and acetylcholine biosynthetic processes were identified among upregulated pathways, while pro-opiomelanocortin and thyroid hormone pathways were downregulated, suggesting the importance of these systems in parental care. Network analysis further suggested neuro-immunological changes in mothers. (4) Conclusions: The results confirm the roles of several hypothesized major pathways in parental care, whereas novel pathways are also proposed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: parental care; transcriptome sequencing; RNA-Seq; gene expression; gene ontology; social behaviour; hypothalamic–septal region; posthatching period; zebra finch mother
Subjects: Q Science / természettudomány > QL Zoology / állattan > QL750-QL782.5 Animal behavior / etológia, állat-viselkedéstan
Depositing User: MTMT SWORD
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2022 06:28
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2022 06:28

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