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Seasonal changes in plasma calcium and inorganic phosphate levels in relation to ultimobranchial gland of the grey quail, Coturnix coturnix coturnix linnaeus



Seasonal changes in plasma calcium and inorganic phosphate levels in relation to ultimobranchial gland of the grey quail, Coturnix coturnix coturnix linnaeus



Proceedings of the Zoological Society 56(1): 19-27



Plasma calcium (Ca) concentration (annual mean) in males Coturnix coturnix coturnix was 10.27 +/- 0.14 mg/100 ml while it was slightly higher (11.85 +/- 0.15 mg/100 ml) among females. Plasma inorganic phosphate (Pi) levels (annual means) in males and females were 5.62 +/- 0.12 mg/ 100 ml and 6.52 +/- 0.20 mg/100 ml, respectively. The pattern of seasonal variations in plasma Ca and Pi levels were different in male and female grey quails. While the males did not exhibit marked fluctuation in plasma Ca and Pi levels either in winter or in summer, the females did record significant elevation in the levels of total plasma Ca and Pi during breeding sason. The peak value of plasma Ca (17.66 +/- 0.38 mg/100 ml) and Pi (8.64 +/- 0.22 mg/100 ml) were observed in June. The ultimobranchial gland (UBG) of the female grey quail exhibited cellular hypertrophy and hyperplasia during breeding season. The follicular epithelia were pseudostratified and contained vacuolated AF-and PAS-positive colloid material in their lumina during May-July. The gland showed significant reduction in cell and nuclear size (atrophy) and there were lymphocytic invasions during the peak winter (December-January). The cystic follicles were also encountered frequently in the gland during this period. However, such changes were less pronounced in the UBG of male quails.

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