The adrenal gland regulates metabolism and maintains normal electrolyte balance. Adrenal hormones are equivalent in all vertebrates; the chromaffin tissue produces adrenaline and noradrenaline and the steroidogenic tissue produces most of the steroid hormones present in mammals. Podarcis sicula belongs to the Squamata family of lizards and it is the most abundant lizard species in southern Italy. This species shows a reproductive annual cycle and the presence of seasonal variations in the activity of the hypothalamushypophyseal- thyroid axis. To investigate the existence of an annual cycle of lizard adrenal gland, we have measured plasma concentrations of corticosterone, ACTH, noradrenaline and adrenaline. We have shown that corticosterone rapidly increased from January to March to reach a peak value that persisted until July, then, it slowly decreased until December. ACTH levels increased from January to May and slowly decreased from July to December. Noradrenaline levels were higher in March and then decreased until December. On the contrary, adrenaline levels increased from March to July and slowly decreased until December. Our results demonstrate the existence of an annual cycle of the lizard adrenal gland activity. This is very interesting because its activity is important to rightly regulate the reproductive status of the Podarcis sicula lizard.

Annual variations of adrenal gland hormones in the lizard Podarcis sicula

DE FALCO, MARIA;VALIANTE, Salvatore;LAFORGIA, VINCENZA;VARANO, LORENZO
2004

Abstract

The adrenal gland regulates metabolism and maintains normal electrolyte balance. Adrenal hormones are equivalent in all vertebrates; the chromaffin tissue produces adrenaline and noradrenaline and the steroidogenic tissue produces most of the steroid hormones present in mammals. Podarcis sicula belongs to the Squamata family of lizards and it is the most abundant lizard species in southern Italy. This species shows a reproductive annual cycle and the presence of seasonal variations in the activity of the hypothalamushypophyseal- thyroid axis. To investigate the existence of an annual cycle of lizard adrenal gland, we have measured plasma concentrations of corticosterone, ACTH, noradrenaline and adrenaline. We have shown that corticosterone rapidly increased from January to March to reach a peak value that persisted until July, then, it slowly decreased until December. ACTH levels increased from January to May and slowly decreased from July to December. Noradrenaline levels were higher in March and then decreased until December. On the contrary, adrenaline levels increased from March to July and slowly decreased until December. Our results demonstrate the existence of an annual cycle of the lizard adrenal gland activity. This is very interesting because its activity is important to rightly regulate the reproductive status of the Podarcis sicula lizard.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11588/309346
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