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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
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Disease relevance of Songbirds


Psychiatry related information on Songbirds


High impact information on Songbirds


Chemical compound and disease context of Songbirds

  • It is demonstrated that in spite of dramatic seasonal changes in the 24-h pattern of locomotor activity measured in caged garden warblers, the corresponding pattern of plasma melatonin changed only very little [9].

Biological context of Songbirds

  • Neuroplasticity in the vocal control system of songbirds is strongly influenced by seasonal fluctuations in circulating testosterone [10].
  • Previous laboratory studies have shown that photoperiodic adult songbirds experience seasonal variations in singing frequency that correlate with plasma androgen levels, as well as changes in the brain regions that control singing (vocal control regions) [11].
  • For example, in songbirds, vocal learning entails NMDAR activation, and the sensitive period for such learning in zebra finches (ZFs) parallels developmental changes in NMDAR density and phenotype within several song-related brain regions [12].
  • We focus here on three Malagasy genera currently assigned to the Timaliidae, Mystacornis, Oxylabes, and Neomixis, and on their relationships with other babblers and warblers using the sequences of two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome b and 16S rRNA) [13].
  • Maternally derived carotenoid pigments affect offspring survival, sex ratio, and sexual attractiveness in a colorful songbird [14].

Anatomical context of Songbirds


Associations of Songbirds with chemical compounds

  • There is pronounced seasonal plasticity in the morphology of the neural circuits that regulate song behavior in adult songbirds, primarily in response to changes in plasma testosterone (T) levels [19].
  • Localization of androgen receptors and estrogen receptors in the same cells of the songbird brain [20].
  • Songbirds have a specialized steroid-sensitive network of brain nuclei, the song system, for controlling song [21].
  • In vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging reveals connections and functional properties of the songbird vocal control system [22].
  • Here, we cloned 21 receptor subunits/subtypes of all four glutamate receptor families (AMPA, kainate, NMDA, and metabotropic) and examined their expression in vocal nuclei of songbirds [23].

Gene context of Songbirds

  • The recent cloning of a second form of the estrogen receptor in mammals, ER beta, raises the possibility that a second receptor subtype is present in songbirds and that estrogenic effects in the song system may be mediated via ER beta [24].
  • Distribution of aromatase, estrogen receptor, and androgen receptor mRNA in the forebrain of songbirds and nonsongbirds [25].
  • The identification of FOXP2 as the monogenetic locus of a human speech disorder exhibited by members of the family referred to as KE enables the first examination of whether molecular mechanisms for vocal learning are shared between humans and songbirds [26].
  • In support of this idea, we find that FOXP1 and FOXP2 expression patterns in human fetal brain are strikingly similar to those in the songbird, including localization to subcortical structures that function in sensorimotor integration and the control of skilled, coordinated movement [26].
  • A major source of estrogens in songbirds is the cerebral aromatization of circulating testosterone by aromatase (ARO) [25].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Songbirds


  1. Interaction of human alpha-Synuclein and Parkinson's disease variants with phospholipids. Structural analysis using site-directed mutagenesis. Perrin, R.J., Woods, W.S., Clayton, D.F., George, J.M. J. Biol. Chem. (2000) [Pubmed]
  2. Salmonellosis in songbirds in the Canadian Atlantic provinces during winter-summer 1997-98. Daoust, P.Y., Busby, D.G., Ferns, L., Goltz, J., McBurney, S., Poppe, C., Whitney, H. Can. Vet. J. (2000) [Pubmed]
  3. Short-term fasting affects locomotor activity, corticosterone, and corticosterone binding globulin in a migratory songbird. Lynn, S.E., Breuner, C.W., Wingfield, J.C. Hormones and behavior. (2003) [Pubmed]
  4. Neurosteroids and brain sexual differentiation. Schlinger, B.A., Soma, K.K., London, S.E. Trends Neurosci. (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. The synucleins: a family of proteins involved in synaptic function, plasticity, neurodegeneration and disease. Clayton, D.F., George, J.M. Trends Neurosci. (1998) [Pubmed]
  6. Site-specific retinoic acid production in the brain of adult songbirds. Denisenko-Nehrbass, N.I., Jarvis, E., Scharff, C., Nottebohm, F., Mello, C.V. Neuron (2000) [Pubmed]
  7. N-cadherin and Ng-CAM/8D9 are involved serially in the migration of newly generated neurons into the adult songbird brain. Barami, K., Kirschenbaum, B., Lemmon, V., Goldman, S.A. Neuron (1994) [Pubmed]
  8. Cryptochromes and neuronal-activity markers colocalize in the retina of migratory birds during magnetic orientation. Mouritsen, H., Janssen-Bienhold, U., Liedvogel, M., Feenders, G., Stalleicken, J., Dirks, P., Weiler, R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  9. Twenty-four hour melatonin profiles in a nocturnally migrating bird during and between migratory seasons. Gwinner, E., Schwabl-Benzinger, I., Schwabl, H., Dittami, J. Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  10. Seasonal neuroplasticity in the songbird telencephalon: a role for melatonin. Bentley, G.E., Van't Hof, T.J., Ball, G.F. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1999) [Pubmed]
  11. Androgen control of vocal control region volumes in a wild migratory songbird (Junco hyemalis) is region and possibly age dependent. Gulledge, C.C., Deviche, P. J. Neurobiol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  12. Seasonal regulation of NMDA receptor NR2B mRNA in the adult canary song system. Singh, T.D., Heinrich, J.E., Wissman, A.M., Brenowitz, E.A., Nordeen, E.J., Nordeen, K.W. J. Neurobiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  13. Molecular systematics of the Malagasy babblers (Passeriformes: timaliidae) and warblers (Passeriformes: sylviidae), based on cytochrome b and 16S rRNA sequences. Cibois, A., Pasquet, E., Schulenberg, T.S. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  14. Maternally derived carotenoid pigments affect offspring survival, sex ratio, and sexual attractiveness in a colorful songbird. McGraw, K.J., Adkins-Regan, E., Parker, R.S. Naturwissenschaften (2005) [Pubmed]
  15. Estrogen receptors in the avian brain: survey reveals general distribution and forebrain areas unique to songbirds. Gahr, M., Güttinger, H.R., Kroodsma, D.E. J. Comp. Neurol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  16. Intrinsic and thalamic excitatory inputs onto songbird LMAN neurons differ in their pharmacological and temporal properties. Boettiger, C.A., Doupe, A.J. J. Neurophysiol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  17. Singing to the tune of dopamine. Focus on "Properties of dopamine release and uptake in the songbird basal ganglia". Cragg, S.J. J. Neurophysiol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  18. Presynaptic N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor expression is increased by estrogen in an aromatase-rich area of the songbird hippocampus. Saldanha, C.J., Schlinger, B.A., Micevych, P.E., Horvath, T.L. J. Comp. Neurol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  19. Act locally and think globally: intracerebral testosterone implants induce seasonal-like growth of adult avian song control circuits. Brenowitz, E.A., Lent, K. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2002) [Pubmed]
  20. Localization of androgen receptors and estrogen receptors in the same cells of the songbird brain. Gahr, M. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1990) [Pubmed]
  21. Aromatase inhibition affects testosterone-induced masculinization of song and the neural song system in female canaries. Fusani, L., Metzdorf, R., Hutchison, J.B., Gahr, M. J. Neurobiol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  22. In vivo manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging reveals connections and functional properties of the songbird vocal control system. Van der Linden, A., Verhoye, M., Van Meir, V., Tindemans, I., Eens, M., Absil, P., Balthazart, J. Neuroscience (2002) [Pubmed]
  23. Differential expression of glutamate receptors in avian neural pathways for learned vocalization. Wada, K., Sakaguchi, H., Jarvis, E.D., Hagiwara, M. J. Comp. Neurol. (2004) [Pubmed]
  24. Androgen receptor, estrogen receptor alpha, and estrogen receptor beta show distinct patterns of expression in forebrain song control nuclei of European starlings. Bernard, D.J., Bentley, G.E., Balthazart, J., Turek, F.W., Ball, G.F. Endocrinology (1999) [Pubmed]
  25. Distribution of aromatase, estrogen receptor, and androgen receptor mRNA in the forebrain of songbirds and nonsongbirds. Metzdorf, R., Gahr, M., Fusani, L. J. Comp. Neurol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  26. Parallel FoxP1 and FoxP2 expression in songbird and human brain predicts functional interaction. Teramitsu, I., Kudo, L.C., London, S.E., Geschwind, D.H., White, S.A. J. Neurosci. (2004) [Pubmed]
  27. Selective expression of insulin-like growth factor II in the songbird brain. Holzenberger, M., Jarvis, E.D., Chong, C., Grossman, M., Nottebohm, F., Scharff, C. J. Neurosci. (1997) [Pubmed]
  28. Natural breeding conditions and artificial increases in testosterone have opposite effects on the brains of adult male songbirds: a meta-analysis. Smulders, T.V. Hormones and behavior. (2002) [Pubmed]
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