Validation of a fecal glucocorticoid assay to assess adrenocortical activity in meerkats using physiological and biological stimuli

Show simple item record Goncalves, Ines Braga Heistermann, Michael Santema, Peter Dantzer, Ben Mausbach, Jelena Ganswindt, Andre Manser, Marta B. 2016-06-14T06:16:59Z 2016-06-14T06:16:59Z 2016-04-14
dc.description SUPPORTING INFORMATION : S1 FILE. Group FGCM response (median ± SE, μg/g) to a natural attack on a group member (ZIM005) that resulted in its permanent eviction. The victim showed the greatest FGCM response to the event. Group FGCM levels returned to baseline levels after the male was removed from the colony. “Within 48 h” represent FGCM levels measured within 2 days after the attack on M5 took place. = p < 0.01 (Fig A). Average (median ± SE) baseline FGCM levels (μg/g) in fecal samples deposited in the morning (AM), at midday (MD) and late afternoon (PM), as measured with the 11β-hydroxyetiocholanolone assay. N = 128 fecal samples from 13 individuals. = p < 0.05 (Fig B). Remove selected en_ZA
dc.description.abstract In mammals, glucocorticoid (i.e. GC) levels have been associated with specific life-history stages and transitions, reproductive strategies, and a plethora of behaviors. Assessment of adrenocortical activity via measurement of glucocorticoid metabolites in feces (FGCM) has greatly facilitated data collection from wild animals, due to its non-invasive nature, and thus has become an established tool in behavioral ecology and conservation biology. The aim of our study was to validate a fecal glucocorticoid assay for assessing adrenocortical activity in meerkats (Suricata suricatta), by comparing the suitability of three GC enzyme immunoassays (corticosterone, 11β-hydroxyetiocholanolone and 11oxo-etiocholanolone) in detecting FGCM increases in adult males and females following a pharmacological challenge with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and biological stimuli. In addition, we investigated the time course characterizing FGCM excretion, the effect of age, sex and time of day on FGCM levels and assessed the potential effects of soil contamination (sand) on FGCM patterns. Our results show that the group specific 11β-hydroxyetiocholanolone assay was most sensitive to FGCM alterations, detecting significant and most distinctive elevations in FGCM levels around 25 h after ACTH administration. We found no age and sex differences in basal FGCM or on peak response levels to ACTH, but a marked diurnal pattern, with FGCM levels being substantially higher in the morning than later during the day. Soil contamination did not significantly affect FGCM patterns. Our results emphasize the importance of conducting assay validations to characterize species-specific endocrine excretion patterns, a crucial step to all animal endocrinology studies using a non-invasive approach. en_ZA
dc.description.department Anatomy and Physiology en_ZA
dc.description.librarian am2016 en_ZA
dc.description.sponsorship The Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no. 31003A_13676) to Marta B. Manser, the University of Zurich, and by an ERC grant (no. 294494, THCB2011) to Tim H. Clutton-Brock at the University of Cambridge. en_ZA
dc.description.uri en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Braga Goncalves I, Heistermann M, Santema P, Dantzer B, Mausbach J, Ganswindt A, et al. (2016) Validation of a Fecal Glucocorticoid Assay to Assess Adrenocortical Activity in Meerkats Using Physiological and Biological Stimuli. PLoS ONE 11 (4): e0153161. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153161. en_ZA
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203
dc.identifier.other 10.1371/journal.pone.0153161
dc.identifier.other 10.5061/dryad.5fv17
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher Public Library of Science en_ZA
dc.rights © 2016 Braga Goncalves et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. en_ZA
dc.subject Mammal en_ZA
dc.subject Soil contamination en_ZA
dc.subject Glucocorticoid metabolite en_ZA
dc.subject Adrenocortical activity en_ZA
dc.subject Glucocorticoid (GC) en_ZA
dc.subject Faecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) en_ZA
dc.subject Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) en_ZA
dc.subject.lcsh Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) en_ZA
dc.title Validation of a fecal glucocorticoid assay to assess adrenocortical activity in meerkats using physiological and biological stimuli en_ZA
dc.type Article en_ZA

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