The red deer (Cervus elaphus L., 1758) is one of the largest deer species in the world. Females are seasonal polyestrous, with negative photoperiod: the increase of the night peak of melatonin determines the secretion of GnRH and, therefore, LH and FSH. To date there is little information regarding the hormonal control during pregnancy for this species; this could be due to the difficulty of sampling wild subjects, while farmed animals' hormonal concentrations may not reflect the physiology of the animal in a natural state. In this study we evaluated the concentration of cortisol and progesterone, extracted from blood and hair, on 10 wild and pregnant red deer females. Belonging to the population of the Bolognese Apennines (Italy), the hinds were sampled in the January-March 2018 period, according to the regional selective hunting plan. Plasma progesterone (P4) ranged from a minimum of 1.9 to a maximum of 7.48 ng/mL; while hair P4 concentrations varied from 41.68 to 153.57 pg/mg. The plasma and hair cortisol ranges are respectively 0.4-2.97 ng/mL and 0.03-0.55 pg/mg; the only significant correlation was found between hair concentration of P4 and the date of death. The results of this preliminary study represent a small step towards a better knowledge of this species' physiology during pregnancy.

Progesterone and Cortisol Levels in Blood and Hair of Wild Pregnant Red Deer (Cervus Elaphus) Hinds

Ventrella, Domenico;Elmi, Alberto;Bertocchi, Martina;Aniballi, Camilla;Parmeggiani, Albamaria;Govoni, Nadia;Bacci, Maria Laura
2020

Abstract

The red deer (Cervus elaphus L., 1758) is one of the largest deer species in the world. Females are seasonal polyestrous, with negative photoperiod: the increase of the night peak of melatonin determines the secretion of GnRH and, therefore, LH and FSH. To date there is little information regarding the hormonal control during pregnancy for this species; this could be due to the difficulty of sampling wild subjects, while farmed animals' hormonal concentrations may not reflect the physiology of the animal in a natural state. In this study we evaluated the concentration of cortisol and progesterone, extracted from blood and hair, on 10 wild and pregnant red deer females. Belonging to the population of the Bolognese Apennines (Italy), the hinds were sampled in the January-March 2018 period, according to the regional selective hunting plan. Plasma progesterone (P4) ranged from a minimum of 1.9 to a maximum of 7.48 ng/mL; while hair P4 concentrations varied from 41.68 to 153.57 pg/mg. The plasma and hair cortisol ranges are respectively 0.4-2.97 ng/mL and 0.03-0.55 pg/mg; the only significant correlation was found between hair concentration of P4 and the date of death. The results of this preliminary study represent a small step towards a better knowledge of this species' physiology during pregnancy.
Ventrella, Domenico; Elmi, Alberto; Bertocchi, Martina; Aniballi, Camilla; Parmeggiani, Albamaria; Govoni, Nadia; Bacci, Maria Laura
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/717821
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