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Adrenal and white cell count responses to chronic stress in gestating and postpartum females of the viviparous skink Egernia whitii (Scincidae)

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Cartledge, VA and Gartrell, BD and Jones, SM (2005) Adrenal and white cell count responses to chronic stress in gestating and postpartum females of the viviparous skink Egernia whitii (Scincidae). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 141 (1). pp. 100-107. ISSN 1095-6433

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Abstract

This study investigates the relationships between plasma corticosterone concentrations and white cell counts in captive females of the viviparous lizard Egernia whitii during two phases of the reproductive cycle. Gestating and postpartum females were captured in the field and held in the laboratory for 4 weeks. Plasma corticosterone and progesterone concentrations and white blood cell counts were examined in blood samples taken at capture and after 24 h, 1 week, and 4 weeks in captivity. At 24 h after capture, plasma corticosterone concentrations in both groups had increased significantly compared with initial values but then returned to initial concentrations after 1 week in captivity and remained low in the 4 week samples. Plasma progesterone concentrations remained elevated in the gestating females until the week 4 sample, just prior to parturition. The hormone data suggest that capture and captivity did not represent a significant long-term stressor to these animals. The increase in plasma corticosterone concentration was associated with heterophilia in the differential leucocyte count in both groups of females. Lymphocyte numbers decreased only in gestating females, suggesting that reproductive status may influence the interaction between adrenal activity and immune function.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Adrenal; Captivity; Corticosterone; Immune system; Leucocytes; Lizard; Progesterone; Stress; Viviparous
Journal or Publication Title: Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Page Range: pp. 100-107
ISSN: 1095-6433
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2005.04.008
Additional Information: Definitive version available at http://www.elsevier.com/locate/cbpa
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:12
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/630
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