HPA function in the California Mouse (Peromyscus californicus): Changes in baseline activity, reactivity, and fecal excretion of corticosterone across the diurnal cycle

Breanna Harris, Wendy Saltzman, Trynke R De Jong, Matthew R Milnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The California mouse, Peromyscus californicus, is an increasingly popular animal model in behavioral, neural, and endocrine studies, but little is known about its baseline hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activity or HPA responses to stressors. We characterized plasma corticosterone (CORT) concentrations in P. californicus under baseline conditions across the diurnal cycle, in response to pharmacological manipulation of the HPA axis, and in response to a variety of stressors at different times of day. In addition, we explored the use of fecal samples to monitor adrenocortical activity non-invasively. California mice have very high baseline levels of circulating CORT that change markedly over 24 h, but that do not differ between the sexes. This species may be somewhat glucocorticoid-resistant in comparison to other rodents as a relatively high dose of dexamethasone (5 mg/kg, s.c.) was required to suppress plasma CORT for 8 h post-injection. CORT responses to stressors and ACTH
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-450
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
StatePublished - 2012

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