Abnormalities in the plasma concentrations of thyroxine, tri-iodothyronine and growth hormone in sex-linked dwarf and autosomal dwarf White Leghorn domestic fowl (Gallus domesticus)

J Endocrinol. 1983 Apr;97(1):127-35. doi: 10.1677/joe.0.0970127.


Plasma concentrations of GH were high in young birds (2-12 weeks old) and low in older birds (15 and 18 weeks old) in the control Cornell K strain of White Leghorn fowl. There was little variation in the plasma concentrations of tri-iodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) with age in this strain. Similar patterns of plasma hormone concentrations with age were observed in autosomal recessive dwarf chickens. However, the plasma concentrations of T3 and T4 tended to be depressed while that of GH was raised. There was little age-related change in the plasma concentrations of GH, T3 and T4 in sex-linked recessive dwarf chickens. Throughout growth and maturation the plasma concentrations of T3 in the sex-linked dwarf birds were less 40% of those observed in the control strain. Plasma concentrations of T4 tended to be raised relative to the control in the sex-linked dwarf at each age examined. The plasma concentration of GH was raised only in older (12, 15 and 18 weeks old) sex-linked dwarfs. Liver T4-5' monodeiodinase activity was slightly depressed in autosomal dwarf chickens and very low in the sex-linked dwarf fowl. Neither autosomal nor sex-linked dwarfism appears to be due to hypopituitarism. It is probable that the depressed liver 5' monodeiodinase activity and the concomitant low plasma concentrations of T3 are a causative factor in the reduced growth and stature of the sex-linked dwarf chicken.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens / blood
  • Chickens / genetics*
  • Dwarfism / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Growth Hormone / blood*
  • Male
  • Sexual Maturation
  • Thyroxine / blood*
  • Triiodothyronine / blood*


  • Triiodothyronine
  • Growth Hormone
  • Thyroxine