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Vol. 79, No. 2, 2012
Issue release date: February 2012
Section title: Original Paper
Brain Behav Evol 2012;79:84–97
(DOI:10.1159/000332766)

Brain Arginine Vasotocin Immunoreactivity Differs between Urban and Desert Curve-Billed Thrashers, Toxostoma curvirostre: Relationships with Territoriality and Stress Physiology

Fokidis H.B.a, b · Deviche P.b
aDepartment of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; bSchool of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 4/8/2011 9:30:33 AM
Accepted: 8/31/2011
Published online: 11/4/2011
Issue release date: February 2012

Number of Print Pages: 14
Number of Figures: 6
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/BBE

Abstract

The neuropeptide arginine vasotocin (AVT: the avian homolog of vasopressin) has numerous functional roles including mediating social behaviors, coregulating the adrenocortical stress response and maintaining water balance. These functions of AVT make it susceptible to environmental influence, yet little is understood concerning the variation in the AVT system across habitats. In this study, AVT immunoreactivity was compared between male curve-billed thrashers, Toxostomacurvirostre, from native Sonoran Desert locations and those within the city of Phoenix, Ariz. Previous research found that urban thrashers are more responsive to territorial intrusion, secrete more corticosterone (CORT) during capture stress, and they may also have greater access to water than desert counterparts. Variation in AVT immunoreactivity was also related to levels of plasma CORT and osmolality, and with behavioral responses to a simulated territorial intrusion. Birds from these two habitats showed different AVT immunoreactive patterns in two brain regions: the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and the medial bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTM), a part of the limbic system. Immunoreactive AVT within the paraventricular nucleus was associated with plasma CORT levels in urban, but not desert, birds, but no such association with osmolality was observed in birds from either habitat. The total number of BSTM AVT-immunoreactive cells was related to a decreased responsiveness to territorial intrusion. These data suggest that divergence in the AVT system between urban and desert thrashers may help explain observed differences in both the adrenocortical stress response and territorial behavior between populations. Whether differences in water availability between habitats contribute to population differences in the brain AVT system is unknown.


  

Author Contacts

H. Bobby Fokidis
Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia
2136 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4 (Canada)
Tel. +1 604 822 5581, E-Mail hbfokidis@psych.ubc.ca

  

Article Information

Received: April 8, 2011
Returned for revision: May 23, 2011
Accepted after revision: August 31, 2011
Published online: November 4, 2011
Number of Print Pages : 14
Number of Figures : 6, Number of Tables : 1, Number of References : 106

  

Publication Details

Brain, Behavior and Evolution

Vol. 79, No. 2, Year 2012 (Cover Date: February 2012)

Journal Editor: Striedter G.F. (Irvine, Calif.)
ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/BBE


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 4/8/2011 9:30:33 AM
Accepted: 8/31/2011
Published online: 11/4/2011
Issue release date: February 2012

Number of Print Pages: 14
Number of Figures: 6
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 0006-8977 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9743 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/BBE


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