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1.
Effects of alfaxalone or propofol on giant-breed dog neonates viability during elective caesarean sections
Monica Melandri, Tanja Peric, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: Attention must be paid to C-section anesthesia effects on mother and offspring. Alfaxalone induction results in improved puppy viability when compared to propofol. The present study aims to evaluate effects of alfaxalone or propofol induction for elective C-section on newborns, expressed as Apgar score and fetal fluids cortisol concentration. Anesthesia was induced with alfaxalone 3 mg/kg iv in 5 bitches (group A), and propofol 4 mg/kg iv in another 5 (group P), maintained with isoflurane. Amniotic and allantoic fluids were collected to determine cortisol concentration. Apgar score, litter size, newborn gender, birth-weight, maternal age, and parity were recorded. ANOVA, U Mann-Whitney test and ANCOVA assessed the effects of drugs on the Apgar score and fetal fluids cortisol. Thirty-six puppies were randomly selected for the study: 16 from group A and 20 from group P. Only the Apgar score significantly differed between groups. ANCOVA confirmed a significantly higher Apgar score in group A underlining the influence of fetal fluids cortisol concentrations, both resulting in covariates. Present results confirm the effect of anesthesia on the Apgar score of newborns, which is significantly higher for alfaxalone than propofol, suggesting the use of fetal fluids cortisol as a covariate. These findings could be a starting point for further investigations when less viable puppies are detected or expected, such as during an emergency C-section. © 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Keywords: Alfaxalone, Apgar score, C-section, Canine neonates, Cortisol, Fetal fluids
Published in RUNG: 26.11.2019; Views: 2183; Downloads: 92
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2.
Analysis of 19 Minerals and Cortisol in Red Deer Hair in Two Different Areas of the Stelvio National Park: A Preliminary Study
Marta Montillo, Tanja Peric, 2019, original scientific article

Abstract: The aim of the study was to perform an investigation on the concentration of 19 minerals and cortisol in red deer (Cervus elaphus) hair, a matrix that is easy to collect with non-invasive and painless sampling, able to represent an integrative values of long-term substance concentrations, and able to give useful information, also when performed on dead animals, given its extreme stability over time. In the study thirty-five animals were included, coming from two different sides of a valley in the Stelvio National Park, where official water analysis had pointed out elevated concentrations of As in one of the two orographic sides. Hair cortisol concentrations were measured using a RIA(Radio Immuno Assay), while minerals were detected using ICP-MS (Inductively Coupled Plasma- Mass Spectrometry). Results showed a negative relationship between cortisol and some mineral concentrations (Li, Co, As, Cd, Cr and Tl) and significant differences in some mineral concentrations between park areas (Al, Co, Cu, Cd and Ni). As, Cr and cortisol differences approached statistical significance. This preliminary study represents a step forward in the study of wildlife allostatic load and a valid method for applications in wildlife management programs, in environmental studies and in public health programs.
Keywords: hair, deer, mineral, cortisol
Published in RUNG: 27.08.2019; Views: 2280; Downloads: 93
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3.
ASSESSMENT OF CORTISOL AND DHEA CONCENTRATIONS IN THE GRIFFON VULTURE (Gyps fulvus) FEATHERS TO EVALUATE ITS HEALTH CONDITION
Gian Nicola Frongia, Tanja Peric, Marco Muzzeddu, Fiammetta Berlinguer, Giovanni Leoni, Valentina Satta, Cristina Bergamin, Marcello Franchini, Antonella Comin, Salvatore Naitana, Alberto Prandi, 2018, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: During their life, birds face several challenges which can threaten the stability of physiological functions. These situations typically trigger a cascade of endocrine secretions involving the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, and resulting in the release of both cortisol and corticosterone also in birds. The use of a non-invasive approach to collect samples of biological material derived from natural populations represents a greatly combination for an improvement of knowledge avoiding handling animals. Steroid concentrations in feathers are mainly acquired from the capillary around the follicle during the long period of feather grown reflecting their bloodstream concentrations. Accordingly, a chronic HPA axis activation could be assessed using molted feathers cortisol concentrations. Another hormone, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), is secreted by adrenals and it could be assessed in molted feathers. This study was aimed to evaluate the feasibility of using feathers cortisol and DHEA concentrations to provide a retrospective assessment of the activity of the HPA axis in griffon vulture acquired for health monitoring purposes. For this, we introduced two groups of animals with a known health condition: one group composed by griffons that have experienced a long-term physiologically compromised period (PC group; n=8) and the other group composed by griffons physiologically not compromised (CTRL group; n=9). The feathers cortisol and DHEA analyses were carried out using RIA [1,2] adapted for feathers. The results revealed different feather hormone concentrations between the two groups of animals. The feathers cortisol had a median value higher in the PC group than in the CTRL group, with cortisol concentrations showing a central value 1.6 times higher in those animals that suffered a long-term physiological impairment. The PC group showed also (Kruskal- Wallis test) higher feather concentrations of DHEA (P=0.01) than the CTRL group. Pearson’s correlation coefficients were used to examine the associations between cortisol and DHEA, showing no correlation between cortisol and DHEA feather concentrations in the PC group (r=0.18, P=0.34) and a moderate positive correlation in the CTRL group (r=0.51, P=0.011). In conclusion, our study reveals that molted feathers can be an interesting way to evaluate the physiological status of wild animals by using a non-invasive approach. Our analyses reveal that in addition to cortisol also DHEA could be evaluated to better understand the relationships between these hormones and to determine the resilience condition of wild species.
Keywords: CORTISOL, DHEA, GRIFFON VULTURE, Gyps fulvus, FEATHER
Published in RUNG: 09.04.2019; Views: 2454; Downloads: 0
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4.
A NEW TOOL TO EVALUATE CORTISOL CONCENTRATIONS IN ANIMAL HAIR
Antonella Comin, Tanja Peric, Mara Colzani, Francesco De Vecchi, Cristina Bergamin, Alberto Prandi, 2018, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: The study of cortisol in hair requires the use of a highly sensitive assay. To date, hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) have been evaluated with different analytical methods as Radio Immune Assay (RIA), Enzyme Immunossay (EIA), Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), ChemiLuminescent Immunoassay (CLIA) and High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Mass Spectrometry (HPLC/MS) or Liquid Chromatography with Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Amplified luminescent proximity homogeneous assay (AlphaLISA) is an ELISA-like, nonradioactive technology first reported in 1994 [1]. This technology allows the quantitative detection of molecules of interest in a light-induced chemiluminescence immunoassay using a microplate without wash step. The aim of the study was to compare RIA with AlphaLISA method and examine the sensitivity in evaluating cortisol concentrations in animal hair of the Cortisol AlphaLISA kit (PerkinElmer, USA), originally suggested for the analysis of buffer and serum samples. The study has been carried out on 4 samples of calf, 4 samples of foal and 8 samples of sheep hair. After washing with isopropanol, two extracts were obtained from each hair sample. One extract has been evaluated for HCC by RIA as previously described [2,3]. The second extract has been reconstituted with the buffer provided by the Cortisol AlphaLISA Kit and HCC evaluated by the use of this commercially available kit. The preliminary results indicate that the Cortisol AlphaLISA Kit is capable to detect cortisol also in hair samples with high sensitivity, with a detection limit of 17 pg/ml. Intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation (CVs) were 4.0% and 9.0%, respectively. Cortisol concentrations ranged between 1.31 and 16.94 pg/mg, 6.30 and 57.65 pg/mg, and 2.16 and 45.08 in calf, foal and sheep hair, respectively. The HCC obtained by Cortisol AlphaLISA Kit and RIA showed a good correlation (r=0.79, p<0.01). Considering the possibility to use a low amount of extracted sample, its no-washing procedure and the performances showed, we can conclude that the Cortisol AlphaLISA Kit can be considered an excellent tool to evaluate cortisol concentrations also in hair derived from animal species.
Keywords: hair, cortisol, analyses, method, AlphaLISA, Amplified luminescent proximity homogeneous assay
Published in RUNG: 09.04.2019; Views: 2664; Downloads: 0
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5.
Maternal and fetal hair cortisol concentrations in beef cattle at delivery
Tanja Peric, Monica Probo, Antonella Comin, Maria Cristina Veronesi, Marta Montillo, Alberto Prandi, 2018, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of both mother and fetus, is one of key mechanisms involved in fetal programming. Cortisol, the end-product of this axis, plays a critical role in regulating fetal and new-born metabolism and development. The aim of the study was to evaluate maternal and fetal cortisol concentrations shortly after delivery on hair samples non-invasively collected. The study was carried out on 11 pairs of beef cows and their calves (calves were 12 because of one case of twins) from the same farm and subjected to the same managerial conditions. Hair from new-born calves and from their mothers was collected on the day of birth shaving their withers to the level of the skin. The hair cortisol concentrations (HCC) were determined by RIA as previously described (Peric et al. 2013: J Dairy Sci 96:3023–3027). The results showed that fetal and maternal HCC ranged from 16.11 to 40.43 pg/mg and from 1.88 to 15.73 pg/mg respectively, with fetal and maternal mean ± SE HCC of 23.72 ± 2.21 and 6.40 ± 1.32 pg/mg respectively (p < 0.001). Fetal HCC were on average 3.5 higher than those of mothers but this ratio differed among the pairs. These differences were also found among the twin calves. These results indicate that in beef cows-and-calves pairs, although HCC at delivery were always higher in calves than in cows, the ratio between fetal and maternal HCC differs among pairs, suggesting an individuality in the fetal programming processes that may also rely on genetic and epigenetic factors.
Keywords: hair, cortisol, cattle, delivery
Published in RUNG: 09.04.2019; Views: 2673; Downloads: 0
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6.
A first survey on hair cortisol of an Alpine ibex (Capra ibex ibex) population.
Tanja Peric, Alberto Prandi, Mirco Corazzin, Antonella Comin, Monica Colitti, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: Biometric measurements of horn, body and physiological variables of 35 Alpine ibex, Capra ibex ibex, (14 females and 21 males, age range: 2-15 years) were analysed in relation to gender and area of origin. Moreover, for the first time hair cortisol concentration was evaluated in this species. The ibexes were live-captured in spring in the Maritime Alps Natural Park. All the horn and body morphometric measurements were significantly different between genders and a statistical difference was found between horn and body data considering the area of origin of ibexes, with the exception of horn circumference and height as well of body and hock length. Among the physiological variables, female ibex showed higher heart rate and glycemia, but tended to have lower respiratory rate than male. The mean hair cortisol concentration was 22.40±1.44 pg/mg (±SE). A different distribution was described for the male hair cortisol concentrations compared to that in females. Obtained data indicate that the geographical area where Alpine ibex lives could affect the endurance of an ibex population but further investigations are needed to understand if intra- and inter-specific competition and different environment could be the basis of the HPA axis activation. Hair cortisol evaluation together with biometric values could be an interesting way to obtain information on the adaptation that the animal attempts to reach in relation to environmental factors and pursuing organism homeostasis. This feature could be important in attempting to preserve wildlife biodiversity that also depends from the state of animal welfare.
Keywords: allostatic load, Alps, ibex, biometry, hair cortisol
Published in RUNG: 06.03.2018; Views: 3617; Downloads: 0
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7.
Hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits subjected to surgery
Tanja Peric, Antonella Comin, Mirco Corazzin, Marta Montillo, Federico Canavese, Marco Stebel, Alberto Prandi, 2018, original scientific article

Abstract: The aim of this study was to assess hair cortisol concentrations in New Zealand white rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) that were subjected to relocation and surgery to evaluate HPA-axis activity; in addition, we used this marker of cortisol secretion to evaluate the allostatic load of animals undergoing surgery. After a period of acclimatisation, which lasted 40 days from their arrival at the enclosure, 19 rabbits were subjected to T1–T12 dorsal arthrodesis (RS), 19 were sham-operated (SS), and 19 were non-operated (CON). Hair samples were collected at the time of arrival (ST1) at the animal facility, and seven other sets of hair samples were collected at 40-day intervals from the same area of skin for a period of 240 days as re-shaved hair (anagen phase): immediately before surgery (ST2) and after the surgery (ST3, ST4, ST5, ST6, ST7, and ST8). The transition from the rabbitry to the animal breeding facility led to a significant increase in cortisol concentration (ST2) in all of the groups. At ST3, the RS group presented higher cortisol concentrations than those of the SS group and the CON group. At ST4, the experimental groups showed similar values that remained constant until ST8. The results show that the management of rabbits undergoing surgery should be evaluated very carefully, and hair cortisol concentrations may provide a means of avoiding the dangerous cumulative effects of additional stressors close to surgery.
Keywords: animal welfare, cortisol, hair, HPA axis, rabbit, surgery
Published in RUNG: 09.02.2018; Views: 3384; Downloads: 0
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8.
Cortisol claws concentrations in dogs from birth to 60 days of age
Jasmine Fusi, Tanja Peric, Barbara Bolis, Alessandro Rota, Antonella Comin, Maria Cristina Veronesi, 2017, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: During the last fetal stage of development and in the neonatal period, the hypothalamic- pituitary- adrenal (HPA) axis secretes cortisol (C), responsible for several physiologic processes. The claws were recently proved to be a useful, non- invasive matrix for long time- frame retrospective C levels analysis also in puppies (Veronesi et al. 2015, Theriogenology 84:791–796). Because of the scarce knowledge on canine perinatology, this study was aimed to assess the C concentrations in claws of newborn puppies collected at birth, 30 and 60 days of age, and to evaluate the possible influence of age, gender and type of birth on C claws accumulation. The study was performed on 58 large purebred, normal, healthy puppies, born by spontaneous or cesarean parturition. The mean C claws concentrations significantly decrease from birth (26 ± 16.39 pg/mg) to 30 (10 ± 4.53 pg/mg) and 60 (6 ± 3.12 pg/mg) days of age (p < 0.0001); a decrease was also seen from 30 to 60 days of age (p < 0.05). No influence of newborn gender and type of birth was found. This trend of decrease is in agreement with data reported by (Veronesi et al. 2015, Theriogenology 84:791–796) in dead puppies, and suggests the important role of C around the time of birth. However the exact source of the C accumulated in claws of puppies at birth must be clarified, while the source of C accumulated at 30, and even more at 60 days, can be supposed to be addressed to the newborn itself.
Keywords: Cortisol, claws, dog
Published in RUNG: 01.09.2017; Views: 3948; Downloads: 0
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9.
HAIR CORTISOL LEVEL IN THE GOLDEN JACKAL (CANIS AUREUS MOREOTICUS I. GEOFFROY SAINT HILAIRE, 1835) IN RELATION TO THE SAMPLE CONSERVATION, SEX AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS.
Marta Montillo, Stefano Pesaro, Tanja Peric, Veronica Maran, Stefano Filacorda, 2017, published scientific conference contribution abstract

Abstract: Hair cortisol analysis is a complementary method for monitoring HPA axis activity, capturing systemic cortisol exposure over longer periods of time. We have tested the hair cortisol concentration on 16 specimens of Golden jackal (Canis aureus moreoticus): 5 from frozen animals, 10 from stuffed animals and 1 taken from injured animal during recovery in an Animal Care Center; the samples came from Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto Region) and Croatia (Istria and Dalmatian region). We have studied the hair cortisol concentration by RIA method in respect to conservation method, sex and areas of origin, with non parametric tests and mixed model. The hair cortisol concentration (values expressed in pg/mg) from the frozen animals (mean=3.38 SD=3.13, n=5) was not different in respect to the stuffed samples (mean=2.81 SD=2.72, n=9), also the sex has not showed any statistical effect (males mean=1.96 SD=0.63 n=9; females mean=4.56 SD=3.99 n=6). The hair cortisol concentration in respect to the sites of origin of samples, dispersal and core areas was not different (dispersal areas: mean=1.56 SD=0.77 n=5, core areas: mean=3.72 SD=3.14 n=10). The use of mixed model to detect the effect of areas (core and dispersal areas) and interaction between sex and areas has showed the presence of significative higher hair concentrations of cortisol in core areas for the females (mean=6.27 SD=3.84 n=4)in respect to the males (mean=2.02 SD=0.52 n=6). The concentration of hair cortisol of sick and injured animal recovered in the Animal Care Center was higher (> of 12 pg/mg) in respect to the other samples. Hair sample can be used to develop a clearer understanding of the interrelationship of health and physiology, mobility and social behaviour.
Keywords: hair, Canis aureus, cortisol
Published in RUNG: 19.07.2017; Views: 4179; Downloads: 0
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10.
Cortisol and DHEA concentrations in the hair of dairy cows managed indoor or on pasture
Tanja Peric, Mirco Corazzin, Alberto Romanzin, Stefano Bovolenta, Alberto Prandi, M. Montillo, Antonella Comin, 2017, original scientific article

Abstract: This study was conducted in order to assess the changes of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) concentrations in hair of Italian Simmental dairy cows managed indoor in tie-stall barns or grazing on high mountain pasture. In experiment I, animals were kept in tie-stalls throughout the year (n = 27). In experiment II, animals remained on mountain pastures during summer (from 20th June to 20th September) and then kept indoors in tie-stalls for the rest of the year (n = 18). At the end of July, following vertical transhumance, dairy cows were moved to a pasture located at a higher altitude. In the two studies, hair samples, obtained using clippers from the animal's forehead, were collected on the 20th June (P1), 20th July (P2), 20th August (P3), 20th September (P4) and 20th October (P5) and analysed for cortisol and DHEA. In experiment I, DHEA concentration was unaffected by sampling time (P > 0.05), whereas, cortisol/DHEA ratio was similar between P1 and P2 (P > 0.05) and then increased during the experimental period reaching the highest value at P5 (P < 0.05). In experiment II, dairy cows had higher concentration of DHEA during grazing compared to cows kept indoors (P < 0.05), conversely cortisol/DHEA ratio decreased from P1 to P2 (P < 0.05), remained constant from P2 to P3 (P > 0.05) and then increased from P3 to P4 (P < 0.05), the highest value was recorded at P5. In conclusion, cortisol and DHEA concentrations and their ratio measured in the hair of dairy cows can be useful to evaluate the allostatic load in animals managed indoor in tie-stall barn or grazing on mountain pasture.
Keywords: Dairy cow, Mountain pasture, Hair, Cortisol, DHEA
Published in RUNG: 28.05.2017; Views: 3987; Downloads: 0
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