UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Seasonal changes in testosterone and corticosterone levels in four social classes of a desert dwelling sociable rodent


Schradin, C (2008). Seasonal changes in testosterone and corticosterone levels in four social classes of a desert dwelling sociable rodent. Hormones and Behavior, 53(4):573-579.

Abstract

Animals have to adjust their physiology to seasonal changes, in response to variation in food availability, social tactics and reproduction. I compared basal corticosterone and testosterone levels in free ranging striped mouse from a desert habitat, comparing between the sexes, breeding and philopatric non-breeding individuals, and between the breeding and the non-breeding season. I expected differences between breeders and non-breeders and between seasons with high and low food availability. Basal serum corticosterone was measured from 132 different individuals and serum testosterone from 176 different individuals of free living striped mice. Corticosterone and testosterone levels were independent of age, body weight and not influenced by carrying a transmitter. The levels of corticosterone and testosterone declined by approximately 50% from the breeding to the non-breeding season in breeding females as well as non-breeding males and females. In contrast, breeding males showed much lower corticosterone levels during the breeding season than all other classes, and were the only class that showed an increase of corticosterone from the breeding to the non-breeding season. As a result, breeding males had similar corticosterone levels as other social classes during the non-breeding season. During the breeding season, breeding males had much higher testosterone levels than other classes, which decreased significantly from the breeding to the non-breeding season. My results support the prediction that corticosterone decreases during periods of low food abundance. Variation in the pattern of hormonal secretion in striped mice might assist them to cope with seasonal changes in energy demand in a desert habitat.

Animals have to adjust their physiology to seasonal changes, in response to variation in food availability, social tactics and reproduction. I compared basal corticosterone and testosterone levels in free ranging striped mouse from a desert habitat, comparing between the sexes, breeding and philopatric non-breeding individuals, and between the breeding and the non-breeding season. I expected differences between breeders and non-breeders and between seasons with high and low food availability. Basal serum corticosterone was measured from 132 different individuals and serum testosterone from 176 different individuals of free living striped mice. Corticosterone and testosterone levels were independent of age, body weight and not influenced by carrying a transmitter. The levels of corticosterone and testosterone declined by approximately 50% from the breeding to the non-breeding season in breeding females as well as non-breeding males and females. In contrast, breeding males showed much lower corticosterone levels during the breeding season than all other classes, and were the only class that showed an increase of corticosterone from the breeding to the non-breeding season. As a result, breeding males had similar corticosterone levels as other social classes during the non-breeding season. During the breeding season, breeding males had much higher testosterone levels than other classes, which decreased significantly from the breeding to the non-breeding season. My results support the prediction that corticosterone decreases during periods of low food abundance. Variation in the pattern of hormonal secretion in striped mice might assist them to cope with seasonal changes in energy demand in a desert habitat.

Citations

44 citations in Web of Science®
44 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

59 downloads since deposited on 11 Apr 2008
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Rhabdomys pumilio, breeding, helper, philopatry, group-living, drought, food, cooperative breeding
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:11 Apr 2008 07:22
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0018-506X
Publisher DOI:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2008.01.003
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2424

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 199kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations