Water deprivation increases maternal corticosterone levels and enhances offspring growth in the snake Vipera aspis

Andréaz Dupoué, Frédéric Angelier, François Brischoux, Dale Denardo, Colette Trouvé, Charline Parenteau, Olivier Lourdais

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Circulating glucocorticoid (GC) levels may increase as a result of reproductive effort or in response to unpredictable events. However, GC secretion can vary with the availability of vital trophic resources such as energy. While water represents another critical resource, the impact of water deprivation on GC secretion during reproduction has not yet been thoroughly investigated. Here, we examined the effects of water deprivation on plasma corticosterone (CORT) concentrations of female aspic vipers (Vipera aspis), and determined the impacts of water deprivation on offspring traits. We exposed both pregnant and non-reproductive females to a 20-day water deprivation and compared their pre- and post-deprivation CORT levels with those of control females. At the end of the treatment, only water-deprived pregnant females showed a significant increase in CORT levels. In pregnant females, changes in baseline CORT level were correlated with changes in female hydration state. Changes in baseline CORT levels were also negatively influenced by maternal reproductive effort in pregnant control females, while such a relationship was not apparent in pregnant water-deprived females. Finally, we found that offspring from water-deprived females had higher growth rates than offspring from control females. Offspring growth was also positively correlated with changes in both maternal osmolality and baseline CORT levels. Together, our results suggest that dehydration increases maternal CORT levels, which may subsequently influence offspring development. Further long-term field studies are therefore required to assess whether there is an adaptive significance of this response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)658-667
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Volume219
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016

Fingerprint

Vipera
Water Deprivation
water deprivation
Snakes
corticosterone
Corticosterone
snake
snakes
Mothers
Growth
water
glucocorticoids
Glucocorticoids
reproductive effort
secretion
Water
dehydration (animal physiology)
Water Purification
osmolality
resource

Keywords

  • Allostasis
  • Dehydration
  • Ectotherms
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Maternal effects
  • Reproductive effort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Insect Science
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Water deprivation increases maternal corticosterone levels and enhances offspring growth in the snake Vipera aspis. / Dupoué, Andréaz; Angelier, Frédéric; Brischoux, François; Denardo, Dale; Trouvé, Colette; Parenteau, Charline; Lourdais, Olivier.

In: Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 219, No. 5, 01.03.2016, p. 658-667.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Dupoué, Andréaz ; Angelier, Frédéric ; Brischoux, François ; Denardo, Dale ; Trouvé, Colette ; Parenteau, Charline ; Lourdais, Olivier. / Water deprivation increases maternal corticosterone levels and enhances offspring growth in the snake Vipera aspis. In: Journal of Experimental Biology. 2016 ; Vol. 219, No. 5. pp. 658-667.
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