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Obtaining plasma to measure baseline corticosterone concentrations in reptiles: How quick is quick enough?
Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2020 02 01; 287:113324.GC

Abstract

There is growing interest in the use of glucocorticoid (GC) hormones to understand how wild animals respond to environmental challenges. Blood is the best medium for obtaining information about recent GC levels; however, obtaining blood requires restraint and can therefore be stressful and affect GC levels. There is a delay in GCs entering blood, and it is assumed that blood obtained within 3 min of first disturbing an animal reflects a baseline level of GCs, based largely on studies of birds and mammals. Here we present data on the timing of changes in the principle reptile GC, corticosterone (CORT), in four reptile species for which blood was taken within a range of times 11 min or less after first disturbance. Changes in CORT were observed in cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus; 4 min after first disturbance), rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus; 2 min 30 s), and rock iguanas (Cyclura cychlura; 2 min 44 s), but fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) did not exhibit a change within their 10-min sampling period. In both snake species, samples taken up to 3-7 min after CORT began to increase still had lower CORT concentrations than after exposure to a standard restraint stressor. The "3-min rule" appears broadly applicable as a guide for avoiding increases in plasma CORT due to handling and sampling in reptiles, but the time period in which to obtain true baseline CORT may need to be shorter in some species (rattlesnakes, rock iguanas), and may be unnecessarily limiting for others (cottonmouths, fence lizards).

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology and the Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA; Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, and The Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA; Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, and The Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA; Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, and The Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.Department of Biology and the Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA.Department of Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA; Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, and The Center for Brain, Behavior and Cognition, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. Electronic address: tll30@psu.edu.

Pub Type(s)

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

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31733208

Citation

Tylan, Catherine, et al. "Obtaining Plasma to Measure Baseline Corticosterone Concentrations in Reptiles: How Quick Is Quick Enough?" General and Comparative Endocrinology, vol. 287, 2020, p. 113324.
Tylan C, Camacho K, French S, et al. Obtaining plasma to measure baseline corticosterone concentrations in reptiles: How quick is quick enough? Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2020;287:113324.
Tylan, C., Camacho, K., French, S., Graham, S. P., Herr, M. W., Jones, J., McCormick, G. L., O'Brien, M. A., Tennessen, J. B., Thawley, C. J., Webb, A., & Langkilde, T. (2020). Obtaining plasma to measure baseline corticosterone concentrations in reptiles: How quick is quick enough? General and Comparative Endocrinology, 287, 113324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2019.113324
Tylan C, et al. Obtaining Plasma to Measure Baseline Corticosterone Concentrations in Reptiles: How Quick Is Quick Enough. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2020 02 1;287:113324. PubMed PMID: 31733208.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Obtaining plasma to measure baseline corticosterone concentrations in reptiles: How quick is quick enough? AU - Tylan,Catherine, AU - Camacho,Kiara, AU - French,Susannah, AU - Graham,Sean P, AU - Herr,Mark W, AU - Jones,Jermayne, AU - McCormick,Gail L, AU - O'Brien,Melissa A, AU - Tennessen,Jennifer B, AU - Thawley,Christopher J, AU - Webb,Alison, AU - Langkilde,Tracy, Y1 - 2019/11/13/ PY - 2019/03/21/received PY - 2019/11/06/revised PY - 2019/11/12/accepted PY - 2019/11/17/pubmed PY - 2020/6/2/medline PY - 2019/11/17/entrez KW - Baseline KW - Corticosterone KW - Lizard KW - Reptile KW - Snake KW - Stress SP - 113324 EP - 113324 JF - General and comparative endocrinology JO - Gen. Comp. Endocrinol. VL - 287 N2 - There is growing interest in the use of glucocorticoid (GC) hormones to understand how wild animals respond to environmental challenges. Blood is the best medium for obtaining information about recent GC levels; however, obtaining blood requires restraint and can therefore be stressful and affect GC levels. There is a delay in GCs entering blood, and it is assumed that blood obtained within 3 min of first disturbing an animal reflects a baseline level of GCs, based largely on studies of birds and mammals. Here we present data on the timing of changes in the principle reptile GC, corticosterone (CORT), in four reptile species for which blood was taken within a range of times 11 min or less after first disturbance. Changes in CORT were observed in cottonmouths (Agkistrodon piscivorus; 4 min after first disturbance), rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus; 2 min 30 s), and rock iguanas (Cyclura cychlura; 2 min 44 s), but fence lizards (Sceloporus undulatus) did not exhibit a change within their 10-min sampling period. In both snake species, samples taken up to 3-7 min after CORT began to increase still had lower CORT concentrations than after exposure to a standard restraint stressor. The "3-min rule" appears broadly applicable as a guide for avoiding increases in plasma CORT due to handling and sampling in reptiles, but the time period in which to obtain true baseline CORT may need to be shorter in some species (rattlesnakes, rock iguanas), and may be unnecessarily limiting for others (cottonmouths, fence lizards). SN - 1095-6840 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31733208/Obtaining_plasma_to_measure_baseline_corticosterone_concentrations_in_reptiles:_How_quick_is_quick_enough L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0016-6480(19)30147-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -