Document Detail

Endocrine characterization of female reproductive status in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus).
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12714009     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In order to characterize the endocrine changes associated with ovarian function and pregnancy in wild redfronted lemurs (Eulemur fulvus rufus), profiles of immunoreactive 5alpha-pregnane-3alpha-ol-20-one (5-P-3OH) and total estrogens (E(t)) in feces were generated during the breeding season and gestation. HPLC data confirmed the presence of high amounts of 5-P-3OH in the feces of redfronted lemurs and showed that estrone and estradiol-17beta were the major estrogens excreted into feces, with estrone predominating. Due to an extreme day-to-day variability in excretion of both hormones during the breeding season, estrus cycle characterization was not possible for the free-ranging females. Comparison with endocrine data from captive animals suggested that this might have been associated with a highly variable amount of undigested fecal matter in the feces of wild females. A gestation length of 121.3 days was calculated on the basis of the day of behavioral estrus and date of parturition. Hormonally, pregnancy could be reliably diagnosed from day 40-45 after conception, when fecal progestogen levels clearly increased above breeding season concentrations in all females. Levels gradually increased thereafter, with 15- to 35-fold elevated maximum levels being reached shortly before parturition. In contrast, the pattern of fecal estrogen excretion was strongly related to the sex of the fetus in utero, with only females carrying male infants showing elevated (25- to 50-fold) estrogen levels during the last third of gestation, while levels remained at low breeding season levels in female-carrying mothers. Thus, fecal estrogen measurements during the last 6-7 weeks of gestation allow fetal sex to be determined prenatally. By providing the first data on the reproductive endocrinology of E. fulvus, we have shown that fecal hormone analysis is a useful tool to monitor endocrine changes associated with pregnancy, while it appears to have certain limitations regarding the assessment of ovarian function.
Julia Ostner; Michael Heistermann
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  General and comparative endocrinology     Volume:  131     ISSN:  0016-6480     ISO Abbreviation:  Gen. Comp. Endocrinol.     Publication Date:  2003 May 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-04-25     Completed Date:  2004-01-22     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370735     Medline TA:  Gen Comp Endocrinol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  274-83     Citation Subset:  IM    
Abteilung Verhaltensforschung und Okologie, Deutsches Primatenzentrum, Kellnerweg 4, 37077 Göttingen, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Endocrine Glands / physiology*
Estrogens / metabolism
Feces / chemistry
Fetus / metabolism
Gestational Age
Lemur / physiology*
Menstrual Cycle / physiology
Progestins / metabolism
Reproduction / physiology*
Sex Characteristics
Sexual Behavior, Animal / physiology
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Estrogens; 0/Progestins

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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