Interplay among nocturnal activity, melatonin, corticosterone and performance in the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marinus)

Jessop, Tim S., Dempster, Tim, Letnic, Mike and Webb, Jonathan K. 2014, Interplay among nocturnal activity, melatonin, corticosterone and performance in the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marinus), General and comparative endocrinology, vol. 206, pp. 43-50, doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.07.013.

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Title Interplay among nocturnal activity, melatonin, corticosterone and performance in the invasive cane toad (Rhinella marinus)
Author(s) Jessop, Tim S.ORCID iD for Jessop, Tim S. orcid.org/0000-0002-7712-4373
Dempster, Tim
Letnic, Mike
Webb, Jonathan K.
Journal name General and comparative endocrinology
Volume number 206
Start page 43
End page 50
Total pages 8
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2014-09-15
ISSN 1095-6840
Keyword(s) Behavioral flexibility
Ecology
Environmental variation
Hormonal plasticity
Organismal performance
Sleep–wake cycles
Summary Most animals conduct daily activities exclusively either during the day or at night. Here, hormones such as melatonin and corticosterone, greatly influence the synchronization or regulation of physiological and behavioral cycles needed for daily activity. How then do species that exhibit more flexible daily activity patterns, responses to ecological, environmental or life-history processes, regulate daily hormone profiles important to daily performance? This study examined the consequences of (1) nocturnal activity on diel profiles of melatonin and corticosterone and (2) the effects of experimentally increased acute melatonin levels on physiological and metabolic performance in the cane toad (Rhinella marinus). Unlike inactive captive toads that had a distinct nocturnal melatonin profile, nocturnally active toads sampled under field and captive conditions, exhibited decreased nocturnal melatonin profiles with no evidence for any phase shift. Nocturnal corticosterone levels were significantly higher in field active toads than captive toads. In toads with experimentally increased melatonin levels, plasma lactate and glucose responses following recovery post exercise were significantly different from control toads. However, exogenously increased melatonin did not affect resting metabolism in toads. These results suggest that toads could adjust daily hormone profiles to match nocturnal activity requirements, thereby avoiding performance costs induced by high nocturnal melatonin levels. The ability of toads to exhibit plasticity in daily hormone cycles, could have broad implications for how they and other animals utilize behavioral flexibility to optimize daily activities in response to natural and increasingly human mediated environmental variation.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.ygcen.2014.07.013
Field of Research 060603 Animal Physiology - Systems
060801 Animal Behaviour
0608 Zoology
0606 Physiology
0707 Veterinary Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Elsevier
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30081786

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