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Data to support Seasonal blubber steroid profiles of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry allows for the measurement of steroid hormone suites in the blubber of marine mammals. By combining this technology with remote biopsy collection, endocrine profiles can be assessed, allowing for studies of hormonal profile variation over time. In this study, we explored associations among different steroidogenic pathways and seasonal differences in blubber hormone profiles of free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins along the coast of South Carolina, USA. We found that male dolphins experience a peak in testosterone, androstenedione, progesterone, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone in the spring, likely related to an upregulation of the androgen steroidogenic pathway during mating season. We also observed increased cortisol concentrations not related to blubber lipid percentages during summer compared to other months. Though the sample size of females was insufficient to describe female seasonal patterns, there was an increase in androstenedione among females with elevated progesterone concentrations indicative of pregnancy, highlighting another potential endocrine marker for pregnancy in free-ranging dolphins. This work emphasizes the importance of selecting the appropriate season for studies on endocrine status to effectively uncover physiological variation or disruption in free-ranging cetaceans.

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Updated: 2024-02-22
Metadata Last Updated: 2018-08-28
Date Created: N/A
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Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry
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Title Data to support Seasonal blubber steroid profiles of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)
Description Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry allows for the measurement of steroid hormone suites in the blubber of marine mammals. By combining this technology with remote biopsy collection, endocrine profiles can be assessed, allowing for studies of hormonal profile variation over time. In this study, we explored associations among different steroidogenic pathways and seasonal differences in blubber hormone profiles of free-ranging common bottlenose dolphins along the coast of South Carolina, USA. We found that male dolphins experience a peak in testosterone, androstenedione, progesterone, and 17-hydroxyprogesterone in the spring, likely related to an upregulation of the androgen steroidogenic pathway during mating season. We also observed increased cortisol concentrations not related to blubber lipid percentages during summer compared to other months. Though the sample size of females was insufficient to describe female seasonal patterns, there was an increase in androstenedione among females with elevated progesterone concentrations indicative of pregnancy, highlighting another potential endocrine marker for pregnancy in free-ranging dolphins. This work emphasizes the importance of selecting the appropriate season for studies on endocrine status to effectively uncover physiological variation or disruption in free-ranging cetaceans.
Modified N/A
Publisher Name National Institute of Standards and Technology
Contact mailto:ashley.russell@nist.gov
Keywords Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry , hormones , stress , reproduction , percent lipid , cetacean
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