Corticosterone, foraging behavior, and metabolism in dark-eyed juncos, Junco hyemalis
Gray, J.M.; Yarian, D.; Ramenofsky, M.
General and Comparative Endocrinology 79(3): 375-384
ISSN/ISBN: 0016-6480 PMID: 2272460 DOI: 10.1016/0016-6480(90)90067-v
Male, dark-eyed juncos, Junco hyemalis, were held in captivity under conditions simulating winter temperature and photoperiod. Birds were administered corticosterone (B), metapyrone (MET), or control (empty) implants in silastic tubing. B implants resulted in higher plasma levels of B, especially on the first day following implantation. After 4 days, B-implanted birds had significant atrophy of the flight muscles and increased storage of fat in the furcular and abdominal adipose depots. Despite the increased fat deposition, no differences in adipose tissue lipoprotein lipase (LPL) activity or plasma levels of glycerol or free fatty acid were observed after 4 days of treatment. There were no differences in muscle LPL activity when enzyme activity was expressed per tissue. However, when enzyme activity was expressed per gram of tissue, muscle LPL was significantly greater in the B-treated birds. Therefore, despite the atrophy of muscle tissue, the LPL enzyme had been preserved. No differences were observed in either foraging behavior or food consumption, even in light of the dramatic changes in fat and muscle masses in B-treated birds. These data are discussed in light of the chronic effects of B which may be applicable to the advanced stage of stress in birds.