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Cyclic changes in cortisol across the estrous cycle in parous and nulliparous Asian elephants

Fanson, Kerry V, Keeley, Tamara and Fanson, Benjamin G 2014, Cyclic changes in cortisol across the estrous cycle in parous and nulliparous Asian elephants, Endocrine Connections, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 57-66, doi: 10.1530/EC-14-0025.

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Title Cyclic changes in cortisol across the estrous cycle in parous and nulliparous Asian elephants
Author(s) Fanson, Kerry VORCID iD for Fanson, Kerry V orcid.org/0000-0001-9372-2018
Keeley, Tamara
Fanson, Benjamin G
Journal name Endocrine Connections
Volume number 3
Issue number 2
Start page 57
End page 66
Total pages 10
Publisher Bioscientifica Ltd
Place of publication Bristol, United Kingdom
Publication date 2014-04
ISSN 2049-3614
Keyword(s) adrenal
glucocorticoids
ovarian
Proboscidea
reproduction
Summary  In the context of reproduction, glucocorticoids (GCs) are generally considered to have negative effects. However, in well-studied model species, GCs fluctuate predictability across the estrous cycles, and short-term increases promote healthy ovarian function. Reproductive challenges have plagued captive elephant populations, which are not currently self-sustaining. Efforts to understand reproductive dysfunction in elephants have focused on the suppressive effects of cortisol, but the potential permissive or stimulatory effects of cortisol are unknown. In this study, we provide a detailed examination of cortisol patterns across the estrous cycle in Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Time series analysis was used to analyze cortisol and progesterone data for a total of 73 cycles from eight females. We also compared cortisol profiles between females that successfully conceived and females that failed to conceive despite repeated mating attempts. Our results revealed that cortisol fluctuates predictably across the estrous cycle, with a peak during the second half of the follicular phase followed by low levels throughout the luteal phase. Furthermore, this pattern was significantly altered in nulliparous females; cortisol concentrations did not decline during the luteal phase to the same extent as in parous females. This study highlights the complexity of cortisol signaling and suggests future directions for understanding the role of cortisol in reproductive dysfunction.
Language eng
DOI 10.1530/EC-14-0025
Field of Research 060604 Comparative Physiology
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30069810

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.