Spatial ability is impaired and mineralcorticoid receptor mRNA expression in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) selected for acute high corticosterone response to stress

Hodgson, Zoë G, Meddle, Simone L, Roberts, Mark L, Buchanan, Katherine L., Evans, Matthew R., Metzdorf, Reinhold, Gahr, Manfred and Healy, Susan D. 2007, Spatial ability is impaired and mineralcorticoid receptor mRNA expression in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) selected for acute high corticosterone response to stress, Proceedings of the royal society : B supplement, vol. 274, no. 1607, pp. 239-245.


Title Spatial ability is impaired and mineralcorticoid receptor mRNA expression in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) selected for acute high corticosterone response to stress
Formatted title Spatial ability is impaired and mineralcorticoid receptor mRNA expression in zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) selected for acute high corticosterone response to stress
Author(s) Hodgson, Zoë G
Meddle, Simone L
Roberts, Mark L
Buchanan, Katherine L.
Evans, Matthew R.
Metzdorf, Reinhold
Gahr, Manfred
Healy, Susan D.
Journal name Proceedings of the royal society : B supplement
Volume number 274
Issue number 1607
Start page 239
End page 245
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Place of publication London, England
Publication date 2007-01-22
ISSN 0962-8452
1420-9101
Keyword(s) corticosterone
artificial selection
spatial learning
mineralocorticoid receptor
glucocorticoid receptor
zebra finch
Summary In mammals, stress hormones have profound influences on spatial learning and memory. Here, we investigated whether glucocorticoids influence cognitive abilities in birds by testing a line of zebra finches selectively bred to respond to an acute stressor with high plasma corticosterone (CORT) levels. Cognitive performance was assessed by spatial and visual one-trial associative memory tasks. Task performance in the high CORT birds was compared with that of the random-bred birds from a control breeding line. The birds selected for high CORT in response to an acute stressor performed less well than the controls in the spatial task, but there were no significant differences between the lines in performance during the visual task. The birds from the two lines did not differ in their plasma CORT levels immediately after the performance of the memory tasks; nevertheless, there were significant differences in peak plasma CORT between the lines. The high CORT birds also had significantly lower mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA expression in the hippocampus than the control birds. There was no measurable difference between the lines in glucocorticoid receptor mRNA density in either the hippocampus or the paraventricular nucleus. Together, these findings provide evidence to suggest that stress hormones have important regulatory roles in avian spatial cognition.
Language eng
Field of Research 050299 - Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30020135

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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