Serum immunoglobulin G concentration in Southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina (Linnaeus, 1758), from Elephant island (Antarctica): Sexual and adrenal steroid hormones effects Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Serum immunoglobulin G (IgG; indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay), as well as sexual and adrenal steroid hormones' concentrations (radioimmunoassay) were determined in 63 (male and female) Southern elephant seals (Mirounga leonine) at different developmental stages (weaned pups, juveniles and adults). In females, IgG values (mean+/-S.D.) were higher (P<0.05) in adults (15.9+/-6.5mg ml(-1)) than in juveniles (7.9+/-4.0mg ml(-1)), but similar to weaned pups (12.0+/-5.0mg ml(-1)). Estrogen concentration was higher (P<0.05) in adults than in the weaned pups. In females, a significant (P<0.05) correlation (R=0.4) between serum IgG level and progesterone concentration was observed. In males, testosterone concentration was higher (P<0.05) in adults than in the juveniles and weaned pups. Aldosterone and cortisol concentrations were higher (P<0.05) in weaned pups (1056.0+/-643.1pmol 1(-1) and 272.7+/-110.0 nmol 1(-1), respectively) than in the juveniles (638.6+/-579.7pmol1(-1) and 152.9+/-97.3nmol 1(-1), respectively) and adults (386.5+/-209.1pmol (-1) and 145.7+/-67.3nmol 1(-1), respectively). These findings indicate that weaned pups are subjected to a higher natural stressful condition in the field. Despite this, humoral immunity, measured through IgG concentration, is not impaired in weaned pups.


  • Ferreira, Ana PS
  • Martínez, Pablo E
  • Colares, Elton P
  • Robaldo, Ricardo B
  • Berne, Maria EA
  • Miranda Filho, Kleber C
  • Bianchini, Adalto

publication date

  • July 2005