College of Arts and Sciences, USF

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USF researchers publish findings in Biology Letters
[04.15.2013]

TAMPA, Fla. -- Andrea Liebl and Lynn (Marty) Martin’s research was published in the journal Biology Letters. In the newly released paper, the authors measured hippocampal mRNA expression of glucocorticoid receptors in eight house sparrow (Passer domesticus) populations varying in age.

They found that individuals closest to the range edge had the lowest expression of mineralocorticoid receptors relative to glucocorticoid receptors. In all likelihood, they postulate that this relationship was driven by a marginal reduction of MR mRNA at the range edge. Reduced MR (relative to GR) might allow enhanced GC binding to GR, the lower affinity receptor, which would enhance a rapid physiological and behavioral response to stressors.

The insights gained from this study are not only enlightening to introduced species, but may also predict how certain species will react as their ranges shift owing to anthropogenic changes.

Previously, the authors showed that glucocorticoids (GCs) vary with range expansion: individuals at the range edge release more GCs in response to restraint.

To view the article, visit the Biology Letters.

-USF-



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