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Characterization of pituitary-adrenocortical activity in the Malayan flying fox (Pteropus vampyrus). J Comp Physiol B 2006 Aug;176(6):513-9



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-33745938116   11 Citations


Pituitary-adrenocortical and gonadal endocrine activity was investigated in a captive colony of Pteropus vampyrus, a highly social Old World fruit bat. Both cortisol and corticosterone were present in plasma, at a ratio of approximately 5:1, respectively. Glucocorticoid but not testosterone levels significantly increased prior to and concomitant with the evening active period. Restraint stress for 15-60 min resulted in a significant and rapid increase in plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and glucocorticoids. ACTH levels quickly returned to baseline following restraint whereas glucocorticoid levels remained elevated for at least 30 min after restraint ended. Plasma ACTH levels after stress were similar to levels reported after stress in other mammals. Stress-induced glucocorticoid levels were several-fold greater than those reported for most mammals. Restraint for 15 min significantly inhibited testosterone levels. Restraint stress did not affect hormone levels on the morning following restraint. Brief capture, handling, and release of the animals did not elicit increases in these hormones. The physiological responsiveness of the pituitary and adrenal glands, along with P. vampyrus's documented seasonality and range of social behaviors, makes these bats an excellent model for exploring the general physiology of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axes, as well as social influences on these axes.

Author List

Reeder DM, Raff H, Kunz TH, Widmaier EP


Hershel Raff PhD Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System
Models, Animal
Pituitary-Adrenal System
Restraint, Physical
Stress, Physiological
jenkins-FCD Prod-484 8aa07fc50b7f6d102f3dda2f4c7056ff84294d1d