+ Resolve Article
+ Follow Us
Follow on FacebookFollow on Facebook
Follow on TwitterFollow on Twitter

+ Translate
+ Subscribe to Site Feed
GeoScience Most Shared ContentMost Shared Content

Non-invasive monitoring of physiological stress in the Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): validation of a fecal glucocorticoid assay and methods for practical application in the field

, : Non-invasive monitoring of physiological stress in the Western lowland gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla): validation of a fecal glucocorticoid assay and methods for practical application in the field. General and Comparative Endocrinology 179(2): 167-177

Enzymeimmunoassays (EIAs) allow researchers to monitor stress hormone output via measurement of fecal glucocorticoid metabolites (FGCMs) in many vertebrates. They can be powerful tools which allow the acquisition of otherwise unobtainable physiological information from both captive animals and wild animals in remote forest habitats, such as great apes. However, methods for hormone measurement, extraction and preservation need to be adapted and validated for field settings. In preparation for a field study of Western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) in the Central African Republic we used samples from captive gorillas collected around opportunistic stressful situations to test whether four different glucocorticoid EIAs reflected adrenocortical activity reliably and to establish the lag-time from the stressor to peak excretion. We also validated a field extraction technique and established a simple, non-freezer-reliant method to preserve FGCMs in extracts long-term. We determined the rate of FGCM change over 28 days when samples cannot be extracted immediately and over 12 h when feces cannot be preserved immediately in alcohol. Finally, we used repeat samples from identified individuals to test for diurnal variation in FGCM output. Two group-specific assays measuring major cortisol metabolites detected the predicted FGCM response to the stressor reliably, whereas more specific cortisol and corticosterone assays were distinctly less responsive and thus less useful. We detected a lag time of 2-3 days from stressor to peak FGCM excretion. Our field extraction method performed as well as an established laboratory extraction method and FGCMs in dried extracts stored at ambient temperatures were as stable as those at -20deg. C over 1 yr. Hormones in non-extracted feces in alcohol were stable up to 28 days at ambient temperatures. FGCMs in un-fixed gorilla feces deteriorated to almost 50% of the original values within 6 h under field conditions. We detected no diurnal variation in FGCMs in samples from wild gorillas. Our study highlights the importance of thorough biological and immunological validation of FGCM assays, and presents validated, practical methods for the application of non-invasive adrenocortical monitoring techniques to field conservation contexts where it is crucially needed.


PMID: 22926327

DOI: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2012.08.008

Other references

Kupferman Steve A., 1992: Regulating land use and development in areas subject to subsidence and ground fissures, Riverside County, California. Annual Meeting - Association of Engineering Geologists 35: 170-174

Rudas, Máté.; Seppelt, I.; Herkes, R.; Hislop, R.; Rajbhandari, D.; Weisbrodt, L., 2015: Traditional landmark versus ultrasound guided tracheal puncture during percutaneous dilatational tracheostomy in adult intensive care patients: a randomised controlled trial. Long-term ventilated intensive care patients frequently require tracheostomy. Although overall risks are low, serious immediate and late complications still arise. Real-time ultrasound guidance has been proposed to decrease complications and impro...

Künzli, H.F.; Miyamoto, K., 1972: Effect of halothane on portal oxygen values and the importance of the oxygen content in the ventilatory gas mixture. Der Anaesthesist 21(2): 49-52

Wallace, D.R.; MacLeod, D.M.; Lyzer, A.J.D., 1978: Endogenous light action in germination of Entomophthora aphidis resting spores in vitro. Evidence is presented that the effect of photoperiod on the germination of resting spores of the entomopathogenic fungus Entomophthora aphidis [see RAE/A 65, 4092] is a result of light acting on the spores themselves, and not some other cause such...

Ponzin, D.; Menegus, A.M.; Kirschner, G.; Nunzi, M.G.; Fiori, M.G.; Raine, C.S., 1991: Effects of gangliosides on the expression of autoimmune demyelination in the peripheral nervous system. To test whether gangliosides (GA) might exert neuritogenic effects in vivo, experimental allergic neuritis (EAN) was studied clinically, neuropathologically, and immunologically in Lewis rats immunized with bovine peripheral nerve, P2 myelin prote...

Ishida, B.K.; Baldwin, E.A.; Buttery, R.G.; Chui, S.H.; Ling, L.C., 1993: Flavor volatiles, sugars and color development in ripening in vitro-cultured tomato fruit and calyx. Previous studies showed that the developmental program of calyces of a tomato cultivar (Lycopersicon esculentum, cv. VFNT Cherry) changed in many aspects to that of fruit when cultured in vitro. The calyces turned red, produced ethylene, had incre...

Sivala K.; Bhole N.G.; Mukherjee R.K., 1991: Effect of moisture on rice bran oil expression. In the processing of oilseeds for oil expression, water is sprinkled as a pre-treatment toincrease the moisture content for better extractability. This paper reports on an investigation into the effect of moisture-addition on oil recovery from par...

GuHaiFeng; ZhangXiaoQian; ChangZengRong, 2008: Determination of silybin in Fufang Yiganling tablet by HPLC. To establish a method for the determination of silybin in Fufang Yiganling tablet. Methods: RP-HPLC was used and the mobile phase consisted of methanol-water-glacial acetic acid (48:52:1). The detection wavelength was 286 nm. Results: The calibrat...

D.Castro, U., 1967: Clinical aspects of coronary atherosclerosis. Bullettino Delle Scienze Mediche 139(4): 451-453

Iqbal, J.; Zahur, M.S., 1975: Effects of acute gamma irradiation and developmental stages on growth and yield of rice plants. Rice plants were exposed to 1, 2.5, 5, 7.5 or 10 kR of acute gamma -rays at pre-tillering, ear-primordia formation, meiosis or heading. Doses of 1 and 2.5 kR had a stimulatory effect on stem length, tillering, ear number/plant, spikelet number/ear...