BIOREC PhD Project 1: Influence of life stage, sex and plasma binding globulins on adrenocortical activity in domestic livestock.

PhD student: Nino ARIAS 1Biochemistry  2

Supervisors: Ruper PALME 3, Erich MÖSTL 4

Abstract: In animals, glucocorticoids (GC) are front-line hormones to overcome stressfull situations. Although their quantification in blood samples is possible, sampling itself is stressful and thus may confound the results. Therefore non-invasive monitoring of adrenocortical activity by means of fecal GC metabolites offers several advantages and has been successfully developed and applied to various species of mammals and birds by our group. Still, profound knowledge about adrenocortical activity and amounts of different GC during life stages of an animal and about the effects of plasma GC transport on steroid metabolism and excretion is still lacking. Those questions will be addressed in ruminants (cattle and sheep) in order to provide a sound background for a broad application of these non-invasive methods in the future.


Nino Dante ARIAS CRUZ, Mag. vet. med.
Department for Biomedical Sciences

Working hypothesis: Fecal glucocorticoid metabolites represent reliable and sensitive indicators of adrenocortical activity for non-invasive monitoring of stress in ruminants.