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Yolk contributes steroid to the multidimensional endocrine environment of embryos of Niveoscincus metallicus, a viviparous skink with a moderately complex placenta

Citation

Parsley, LM and Wapstra, E and Jones, SM, Yolk contributes steroid to the multidimensional endocrine environment of embryos of Niveoscincus metallicus, a viviparous skink with a moderately complex placenta, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A, 171 pp. 51-56. ISSN 1095-6433 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 Elsevier Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2014.02.013

Abstract

Maternally-derived testosterone (T) and 17-β-oestradiol (E2) provide epigenetic mechanisms by which mothers can actively influence offspring phenotype. In amniotes, maternal steroids may be derived from yolk or transferred across the placenta according to parity mode. Viviparous reptiles utilise both a yolk and a placenta to support their developing embryos, but it has not yet been confirmed whether yolk is a source of maternal T and E2 in such species. We investigated this question using the viviparous lizard Niveoscincus metallicus as our model species. We measured T and E2 in the yolks during vitellogenesis, immediately post-ovulation and at progressive stages of gestation. Our results confirm that yolk is a substantial source of T and E2 in N. metallicus. Contrary to the pattern seen in many oviparous species, we did not observe a marked decline in yolk concentrations of either T or E2 after the initiation of sexual differentiation in the embryos. Rather, we found no statistically significant decline in yolk concentrations of both T and E2 post-ovulation. In viviparous reptiles that utilise both yolk and placenta to nourish their embryos, yolk likely plays an important role in these dynamics but that role is not yet clear. Further research is warranted to understand the importance of yolk steroids in the endocrine environment of the developing viviparous reptile.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:oestadiol, placenta, reptile, testosterone, viviparity, yolk
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Behavioural Ecology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding Knowledge in the Environmental Sciences
Author:Parsley, LM (Dr Laura Parsley)
Author:Wapstra, E (Associate Professor Erik Wapstra)
Author:Jones, SM (Professor Susan Jones)
ID Code:90981
Year Published:2014
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (FT110100597)
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2014-05-05
Last Modified:2017-10-31
Downloads:0

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