Thyroid hormone concentrations associated with age, sex, reproductive status and apparent reproductive failure in the Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis)

T. R. Robeck (Lead / Corresponding author), R. S. Amaral, V. M. F. da Silva, A. R. Martin, G. A. Montano, J. L. Brown

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

This study was conducted to characterize immunoreactive thyroid hormone concentrations in wild Amazon river dolphins, also called boto (Inia geoffrensis) by age group, sex, pregnancy and lactation status, and to determine if thyroid hormone concentration differences could be detected between pregnant females with and without successful parturition outcomes. Radioimmunoassays were used to analyse total T3 and total T4 in 182 serum samples collected from 172 botos living in the Mamirauá Sustainable Development Reserve, in the Brazilian Amazon from 2003 through 2015. Age significantly affected tT3 and tT4 concentrations in males, with values in immature males and females being significantly lower than those in adult males, whereas no age effects were noted between immature females and adult non-pregnant, non-lactating females. Significant sex differences were noted in tT3 concentrations between immature males and females and in tT4 concentrations between adult males and females. These resulted in significant differences in the tT3:tT4 ratio between males and females within the immature and adult groups. Lactating and non-pregnant adult females had significantly higher tT3 concentrations than pregnant females, and this difference was primarily driven by a 12% drop in tT3 concentrations during the last two-thirds of pregnancy. No differences in thyroid hormone concentrations were detected between females diagnosed as pregnant and later found to have or not have a live calf. These results are the first to define thyroid hormone reference intervals and normal physiological variations in a wild population of river dolphins.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbercoz041
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalConservation physiology
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019

Keywords

  • Boto
  • fetal demise
  • nonatal loss
  • river dolphins
  • thyroxine
  • triiodothyronine

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