[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individual variations of plasma levels of hormones testosterone (T) and cortisol (C), before (pre) and after (post) Kumite (real fight) and Kata (ritualized fight) were measured in male karate athletes and analyzed in relation with the agonistic outcome (i.e. winning or losing the fight) and personality trait measures. T and C increased only during Kumite contest and pre- and post-competition C levels were higher in losers than winners. Losers showed higher levels of harm avoidance and anxiety as well as lower level of novelty seeking than winners. Importantly, novelty seeking negatively correlates with pre C and the higher the level of risk assessment, emotionality and insecurity indexes the higher the pre C level. In conclusion, personality traits might be an important factor asymmetry between athletes influencing both the probability of winning or losing an agonistic interaction and the different anticipatory endocrine response to the incipient fight.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated the impact of oil pollution on morphological measurements in adult male and female sand lizards captured in locations with apparently different pollution levels. The results of this study confirmed that there is sexual dimorphism in body size, with males being generally larger than females at all the study sites. Adult male (but not female) lizards were generally bigger at the Tar mat and soot than the clear and control sites. The increase in body size and weight suggests that there is a greater availability of food for these somewhat territorial reptiles in both the Tar mat and soot sites. An alternative explanation is that the food resource is affected by oil pollution such that lizards consuming prey with high levels of fat accumulate more adipose tissue in their bodies.
Research Journal of Environmental Toxicology 01/2009; 3(1):56-59. DOI:10.3923/rjet.2009.56.59
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An attempt was made to study the effects of oil pollution in a desert location (the Greater Al-Burgan oil fields, an area damaged in the second Gulf War) in Kuwait on the behaviour of the Sand lizard A. scutellatus. Polluted sites with apparently different degrees of contamination (namely tar mat, soot and clear sites) were compared with control areas outside this region. Between 2002 and 2003, ten lizards (5 of each sex) on each polluted and each control site were observed in the field at a time of the year when they were highly active. Air, substrate and burrow temperatures were recorded and lizards were monitored for their morning emergence times, as well as their basking and foraging activities. The present study confirmed that the morning emergence times and the basking behavior varied in sand lizards among the different pollution site categories. Physical changes in the tar mat sites caused the substrate temperatures in these locations to rise more quickly in the morning in response to solar gain than was the case in the other sites. This gives lizards in these locations the opportunity to emerge earlier and to start eating more quickly, giving them an energetic advantage (perhaps, in turn, influencing their rates of growth and fecundity). The clear sites had the next earliest emergence and were the next hottest but it is difficult to account for this in terms of the physical characteristics of this site. The basking times were clearly shorter on the dark soot and tar mat sites that appeared to have higher solar gain than control or clear sites. There did not appear to be any obvious differences in foraging activity of lizards in the different locations. It appears that some aspects of simple behaviour in these lizards provides a reliable, noninvasive indices for assessing oil pollution in desert locations. The precise impact of these changes in these reptiles on their long-term viability needs to be evaluated.
Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences 03/2008; 11(4):589-94. DOI:10.3923/pjbs.2008.589.594
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Animals (including human beings) show complex interactions with their own species, other species, and the environment. An
encounter between two animals such as that of rodent aggression (described by Grant and Mackintosh, 1963) 27 involves intricate behavioral patterns, presumably expressing a variety of motivations. Over the past 20 years encounters
between rats or mice staged by investigators within the laboratory have been advocated for the evaluation of behavioral effects
of drug actions upon the central nervous system (CNS). The utilization of detailed ethological studies of diverse species-specific
activities seems to have distinct advantages over the analysis of single behavioral parameters since they may facilitate:
Distinguishing between specific and nonspecific drug effects. For example, low doses of benzodiazepines have a specific anxiolytic
action, whereas high doses are generally depressant. The specificity of drug action can also be assessed by examining the
complete behavioral profile
Comparisons between drugs, which have the same effect on a single measure
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using indicator species to monitor the effects of oil pollution was thought to be useful to assess whether local desert reptiles and their insect prey could fulfill such a role in an area damaged in the second Gulf War (1990). Polluted sites with apparently different degrees of contamination (namely tar mat, soot, and clear sites) located at Kuwait's Greater Al-Burgan oil field were compared with control areas outside this region in study conducted in 2002. Five Acanthodactylus scutellatus lizards from each study and control site were humanely killed and stored in a freezer at -20 degrees C until analysis. Ants from the same sites were also collected and treated in a similar manner. Lizard and ant whole body tissues were subjected to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to determine concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons (HCs). The study concentrated on sixteen polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), EPA priority pollutants used as indicators of petrogenic HC contamination. There were significantly different concentrations of total PAHs in lizards and ants among all four study sites. Of the 16 PAHs, phenanthrene, fluoranthene, and benzo[a]anthracene were present in both lizard and ant samples from the Greater Al-Burgan oil field sites irrespective of the apparent degree of pollution but were undetectable in materials from the control sites. The range of total PAHs in lizards was 26.5-301 ng g(-1) and it was 6.7-82.1 ng g(-1) in ants. Concentrations increased progressively along an expected contamination gradient. Total PAHs were detected in biota even in an area (clear site) that did not appear, virtually, to contain petroleum soil pollution which supports the value of indicator biota species. For all three sites where PAHs were found in biota, the ratio of total PAHs in ants to lizards was consistently 3.3-3.4. These data show that, although 12 years have passed since the Kuwait oil spill catastrophe, all sites are still contaminated with PAHs. Use of lizard and ant materials in monitoring such desert locations seems to be an effective strategy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationships between acute social stress, immunological alterations and the development of pulmonary metastases of B16F10 melanoma were analyzed. In particular, the effects of different behavioral coping strategies on the development of the metastases were studied. Tumor bearing and tumor non-bearing mice were subjected for 24h to a sensory contact social stress model. This included two 5 min sessions of direct social interaction with their resident cagemates (which had been selected for consistent levels of aggression). The subjects' behavior was videotaped and assessed. Corticosterone, IL-2, IL-12 and splenic cell proliferation responses to Con-A were determined 1h and 3 days post-stress. Lung metastatic foci numbers were determined 21 days after inoculation (15 days post-stress). Social stress increased the number of pulmonary metastases and the serum level of corticosterone but decreased the splenic proliferative capacity. No direct relationship could be established between the development of the metastases and the assayed interleukin response. A combination of cluster and discriminant analyses established that there were three types of coping strategies. Subjects engaging in a strategy characterized by an absence of attack, low non-social exploration levels and high levels of defense, subordination and avoidance, developed most pulmonary metastases. Social stress effects on tumor development appear to depend on the subject's coping strategy in such situations (although one cannot rule out the possibility that differences in the development of the disease per se are responsible for the different behavioral patterns observed).