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      Increased pre-natal maternal corticosterone promotes philopatry of offspring in common lizards Lacerta vivipara

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      Journal of Animal Ecology
      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Maternal care, hippocampal glucocorticoid receptors, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal responses to stress.

          Variations in maternal care affect the development of individual differences in neuroendocrine responses to stress in rats. As adults, the offspring of mothers that exhibited more licking and grooming of pups during the first 10 days of life showed reduced plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone and corticosterone responses to acute stress, increased hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor messenger RNA expression, enhanced glucocorticoid feedback sensitivity, and decreased levels of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone messenger RNA. Each measure was significantly correlated with the frequency of maternal licking and grooming (all r's > -0.6). These findings suggest that maternal behavior serves to "program" hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal responses to stress in the offspring.
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            Corticosterone, body condition and locomotor activity: a model for dispersal in screech-owls

            A model that explains natal dispersal in resident screech-owls is presented and examined. The model is based on interactions among hormonal changes, body condition and social stimuli. It predicts that corticosterone, an adrenal glucocorticoid known to stimulate locomotor and foraging activity, increases in blood plasma prior to dispersal through a combination of endogenous and exogenous events. This mediates the locomotor activity that underlies dispersal behaviour. Juveniles in good body condition (i.e. those with sufficient fat reserves) will disperse when corticosterone increases. Birds in poor body condition will not, but they will increase their foraging activity under the influence of corticosterone. Dispersal of siblings will reduce aggression and/or competition for food, enabling the remaining juveniles to improve their body condition and disperse. Initial studies on screech-owls, Otus asio and O. kennicottii, have produced results that are generally consistent with the model. For example, captive juvenile screech-owls showed increased locomotor activity in the weeks leading up to the time when free-living juveniles are dispersing, and activity levels declined thereafter. Peaks in corticosterone corresponded with periods of high locomotor activity (i.e. at the time of dispersal) in captive owls. Finally, field studies indicate that dominant juveniles, which are presumably in better physical condition, initiated dispersal before their more subordinate siblings. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
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              Effects of steroid hormone interaction on activity and home-range size of male lizards.

              Steroid hormones play a major role in influencing the physiology and behavior of all animals, including reptiles. Oftentimes, it is an interaction between two or more hormones that is ultimately responsible for the observed response or behavior. We designed a pair of field studies on adjacent communities of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) to provide insight into the interrelationship of testosterone (T) and corticosterone (B) in regulating aggressive behavior. On one site, males were implanted with either T or saline (S), while on the other site males received either two S implants or both a T and a B implant (T + B). T increased both activity (by 31%) and home-range size (by 150%), whereas S-implanted cohorts exhibited a reduction in both of these parameters (by 24 and 50%, respectively). However, when B was given in combination with T, not only were the positive effects of T eliminated, but there was a reduction in activity (31%) and home-range size (72%) similar to that reported in lizards that received B implants alone. S-implanted cohorts in the T + B experiment increased their activity and home-range size by 15 and 43%, respectively. Although these latter changes in the S-implanted males are not statistically significant, they are indicative of a compensatory increase similar to that seen in the T and previously reported B outcrop experiments. Taken together, these results illustrate that regulation of aggressive behavior is complicated, with both hormonal and social interactions playing critical roles in determining an individual's home-range size and, hence, reproductive success.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Animal Ecology
                J Anim Ecology
                Wiley-Blackwell
                0021-8790
                1365-2656
                May 2000
                May 2000
                : 69
                : 3
                : 404-413
                Article
                10.1046/j.1365-2656.2000.00405.x
                7e3eb630-d75f-4ea9-8361-8496e4fd9ad3
                © 2000

                http://doi.wiley.com/10.1002/tdm_license_1.1


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