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Recovery periods during repeated stress impact corticosterone and behavioral responses differently in house sparrows.

08:00 EDT 12th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Recovery periods during repeated stress impact corticosterone and behavioral responses differently in house sparrows."

A number of studies have shown that chronic stress can negatively impact both physiology and behavior in a variety of organisms. What has yet to be extensively explored is whether these changes permanently alter an animal's functioning, or if they can be reversed. In this study, we used wild-caught house sparrows (Passer domesticus) to assess how recovery periods influence the physiological and behavioral impacts of an initial four days and subsequent four days of repeated stressors. Birds were randomly assigned to a recovery group and either experienced 0, 24, or 72 h of recovery between the two sets of stressors (cage rolling and cage tapping). We measured the regulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis by quantifying baseline and stress-induced corticosterone as well as negative feedback strength. We also assessed behavior using neophobia trials to measure how birds altered their approach towards novel objects and their overall activity. Both behavior and corticosterone responses were assessed before the experiment, after the recovery time, and following the final 4 days of stressors. We found that birds that experienced 24 h of recovery had reduced stress-induced corticosterone, but enhanced negative feedback relative to the pre-experiment sample. Additionally, 4 days of stressors was enough to significantly reduce approach latency towards novel objects; however, pre-experiment levels returned with longer periods of recovery. Finally, recovery time did not significantly influence responses to the second 4 days of stressors. Our results indicate that brief recovery periods partially ameliorate the hormonal and behavioral effects of repeated stress.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Hormones and behavior
ISSN: 1095-6867
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