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Developmental and diel profiles of plasma corticosteroids in the bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana

Developmental and diel profiles of plasma corticosteroids in the bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A Molecular and Integrative Physiology 135(4): 585-595

ISSN/ISBN: 1095-6433

PMID: 12890548

DOI: 10.1016/s1095-6433(03)00140-5

Corticosteroids synergize with the thyroid hormone (TH) at late metamorphic stages and might have a role in the hormonal regulation of amphibian metamorphosis. This role could be influenced by diel fluctuations, particularly if the peak of the plasma corticoids changed in relation to the TH peaks. Diel variation in plasma corticosteroids was studied in Rana catesbeiana prometamorphic and climax tadpoles on 18:6, 12:12 and 6:18 light:dark (LD) cycles. Cortisol (hydrocortisone; HC) and aldosterone (ALDO) exhibited different, but LD cycle-specific, circadian fluctuations at prometamorphosis, whereas corticosterone (CORT) was undetectable (less than 1.18 ng/ml). HC, ALDO and CORT rhythms became synchronous at early metamorphic climax on all LD cycles, although the cosinor-derived acrophases, which occurred around the time of the dark:light transition, shifted approximately 6 h earlier from 18L:6D to 6L:18D. On both 18L:6D and 12L:12D, the acrophase of HC changed little from prometamorphosis to climax, whereas that of ALDO underwent a major phase shift. On 6L:18D, both the ALDO and the HC acrophases shifted at climax. These LD cycle-specific phase shifts of the diel rhythms placed the acrophases of the corticoids in different phase relationships to that of the previously determined thyroxine (T(4)) acrophase at climax, and may partially explain the influence of the light regimen on metamorphic timing. The pronounced diel variations in the corticoid concentrations from the troughs to the peaks show that hormone levels are a function of the time of day and the environmental lighting regimen, which need to be taken into account in measuring the level of plasma hormones in amphibians. The 24-h means calculated from the data of all the sampling times showed that only plasma ALDO and CORT, but not HC, rose markedly at climax, although there were significant LD cycle-related differences in the mean levels of both HC and ALDO at prometamorphosis, and in HC at climax. Additional work sampling at mid-light showed that plasma CORT peaked at Stage XXIII, decreased at the end of climax, and remained low in the postmetamorphic froglet at 2.1 ng/ml. In the adult bullfrog, CORT was clearly the predominant corticosteroid at 34.3 ng/ml, whereas HC and ALDO levels were only approximately 1.3 ng/ml.

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Accession: 003710405

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