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Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2010 Jun 1;167(2):317-25. doi: 10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.03.027. Epub 2010 Mar 27.

Grizzly bear corticosteroid binding globulin: Cloning and serum protein expression.

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1
Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

Serum corticosteroid levels are routinely measured as markers of stress in wild animals. However, corticosteroid levels rise rapidly in response to the acute stress of capture and restraint for sampling, limiting its use as an indicator of chronic stress. We hypothesized that serum corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG), the primary transport protein for corticosteroids in circulation, may be a better marker of the stress status prior to capture in grizzly bears (Ursus arctos). To test this, a full-length CBG cDNA was cloned and sequenced from grizzly bear testis and polyclonal antibodies were generated for detection of this protein in bear sera. The deduced nucleotide and protein sequences were 1218 bp and 405 amino acids, respectively. Multiple sequence alignments showed that grizzly bear CBG (gbCBG) was 90% and 83% identical to the dog CBG nucleotide and amino acid sequences, respectively. The affinity purified rabbit gbCBG antiserum detected grizzly bear but not human CBG. There were no sex differences in serum total cortisol concentration, while CBG expression was significantly higher in adult females compared to males. Serum cortisol levels were significantly higher in bears captured by leg-hold snare compared to those captured by remote drug delivery from helicopter. However, serum CBG expression between these two groups did not differ significantly. Overall, serum CBG levels may be a better marker of chronic stress, especially because this protein is not modulated by the stress of capture and restraint in grizzly bears.

PMID:
20347821
DOI:
10.1016/j.ygcen.2010.03.027
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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