Testing for context-dependent effects of prenatal thyroid hormones on offspring survival and physiology: An experimental temperature manipulation

Bin-Yan Hsu*, Tom Sarraude, Nina Cossin-Sevrin, Melanie Crombecque, Antoine Stier, Suvi Ruuskanen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Maternal effects via hormonal transfer from the mother to the offspring provide a tool to translate environmental cues to the offspring. Experimental manipulations of maternally transferred hormones have yielded increasingly contradictory results, which may be explained by differential effects of hormones under different environmental contexts. Yet context-dependent effects have rarely been experimentally tested. We therefore studied whether maternally transferred thyroid hormones (THs) exert context-dependent effects on offspring survival and physiology by manipulating both egg TH levels and post-hatching nest temperature in wild pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) using a full factorial design. We found no clear evidence for context-dependent effects of prenatal THs related to postnatal temperature on growth, survival and potential underlying physiological responses (plasma TH levels, oxidative stress and mitochondrial density). We conclude that future studies should test for other key environmental conditions, such as food availability, to understand potential context-dependent effects of maternally transmitted hormones on offspring, and their role in adapting to changing environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14563
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3-Sep-2020

Keywords

  • OXIDATIVE STRESS
  • BROOD SIZE
  • GROWTH
  • CORTICOSTERONE
  • CROSSTALK
  • ANDROGEN
  • MODELS

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