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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2012 May 15;177(1):76-81. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2012.02.010. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Secretory patterns of catecholamines in Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins.

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  • 1Department of Marine Science and Resources, College of Bioresource Sciences, Nihon University, 1866 Kameino, Fujisawa, Kanagawa 252-0880, Japan. suzuki.miwa@nihon-u.ac.jp


Catecholamines (CAs), namely adrenaline (A), noradrenaline (NA), and dopamine (DA), are secreted by the sympathoadrenal system and participate in a diverse array of functions, e.g., heat production, cardiovascular regulation, stress response and so on. However, little is known regarding peripheral CA fluctuations in cetaceans; nevertheless aquatic animals like them have needed to modify their physiological response especially for thermoregulation in water and oxygen economy during diving. To understand CA dynamism in cetaceans, diurnal changes in serum A, NA, and DA concentrations were measured during the winter and summer solstices in four Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus). The average serum NA concentration was much higher than the average A and DA concentrations, and all concentrations were higher than those reported in other cetacean species. No distinct diurnal fluctuations were observed in CA concentrations in either solstice, suggesting inhibition of the decrease in CA concentrations during nocturnal periods by the unique sleep pattern of dolphins. All the serum CA concentrations were negatively correlated with water temperature as body temperatures were, indicating that the sympathoadrenal system might be more active during winter than in summer season, suggesting a role of CA in thermoregulation.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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