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Assessment of estrus cyclicity in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) by measurement of fecal progesterone metabolite 5 alpha-P-3OH, using a non-invasive assay

Ghosal, Ratna and Kalaivanan, N and Sukumar, Raman and Seshagiri, Polani B (2012) Assessment of estrus cyclicity in the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) by measurement of fecal progesterone metabolite 5 alpha-P-3OH, using a non-invasive assay. In: General and Comparative Endocrinology, 175 (1). pp. 100-108.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygcen.2011.10.004

Abstract

Reproductive management of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) is important for its conservation. To monitor its estrous cyclicity, we earlier used an indirect ELISA to show that levels of fecal progesterone (P(4))-metabolite (allopregnanolone: 5 alpha-P-3OH) in semi-captive females sampled randomly positively correlated with serum P(4) levels [12]. In this longitudinal study (51 weeks), we measured levels of fecal 5 alpha-P-3OH and serum P(4) in seven semi-captive female elephants. Females exhibited three types of hormonal profiles. Four females showed cyclical patterns of fecal 5 alpha-P-3OH and serum P(4) typical of normal estrous cycles, two showed acyclic pattern while one showed high values indicative of a pregnant animal. Values for anestrous or follicular phases were <= 0.3 mu g g(-1), (5 alpha-P-3OH) and <= 0.3 ng mL(-1) (P(4)); for luteal phase 0.32-11.09 mu g g(-1) (5 alpha-P-3OH) and 0.32-1.48 ng mL(-1) (P(4)); for pregnancy 1.41-7.38 mu g g(-1) (5 alpha-P-3OH) and 0.39-1.6 ng mL(-1) (R(4)). A positive correlation (t = 8.8, p < 0.01, n = 321) between levels of fecal 5 alpha-P-3OH and serum P4 was observed. A random sample of 30 free-ranging female elephants showed fecal 5 alpha-P-3OH values of 0.06-23.4 mu g g(-1), indicating them to be in different stages of estrous cyclicity. This study is the first to assess the reproductive phases of female Asian elephants based on the correlative-patterns of both the fecal 5 alpha-P-3OH and serum P(4) values over multiple estrous cycles. This has a potential application in the reproductive management and conservation of Asian elephants. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier Science.
Keywords: Estrus;Pregnancy;Semi-captive;Free-ranging;Progesterone; Allopregnanolone
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Reproduction, Development & Genetics (formed by the merger of DBGL and CRBME)
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2012 11:37
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2012 11:37
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/43441

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