P2.169 Thursday, Jan. 5 Effects of short term stress on plasma corticosterone and testosterone levels in captive and wild house sparrows ( Passer domesticus) JAYNE, Melissa K.*; DUDLEY, Erin; GREENE, Virginia; MOORE, Ignacio T.; DAVIS, Jason E.; Radford University; Radford University; Virginia Tech; Virginia Tech; Radford University MJayne2@radford.edu
A trade-off exists between stress and reproduction in which allocation of energetic resources to support individual survival may result in a temporary decrease in allocation to reproduction. Chronic stress can lead to long term dysregulation of stress responses, including reductions in baseline corticosteroids, alterations to corticosteroid response profiles, and inhibition of reproductive function. Acute stress can also cause dramatic alterations to reproductive physiology, including a rapid reduction in plasma testosterone. This may serve to reduce short-term reproductive activity, freeing resources for investment in individual survival. It is unclear what effect moderate chronic stress, such as captive housing, might have on the dynamics of the acute stress-reproductive interaction. In order to examine this system, we conducted a study in which corticosterone and testosterone levels were measured in male house sparrows (Passer domesticus), at baseline (< 3 minutes after capture) and after 60 minutes of restraint in both captive and wild conditions. Our study found that male house sparrows subjected to 60 minutes of restraint displayed both an increase in corticosterone as well as a simultaneous decrease in testosterone. Captive housed males exhibited decreased baseline testosterone relative to wild males. However, both captive and wild males exhibited an increase in corticosterone and a decrease in testosterone following acute stress. These findings demonstrate the importance of acute stress in control of reproductive physiology, even under chronic stress conditions.