Microsoft powerpoint - tizzi et al_ eaam 2010.ppt

Tizzi Raffaella1, Accorsi Pier Attilio2, Zordan Silvia1 and Severi Carlotta1 (1) Delfinario Rimini, Lungomare Tintori 2, 47900 Rimini (Italy) – (2) Dipartimento di Morfofisiologia Veterinaria e Produzioni Animali, Università degli Studi di Bologna, via Tolara di Sopra, 40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO) (Italy) - A significant correlation between progesterone concentrations simultaneously measured in blood and in biological material released with the blow, was confirmed in previous studies by Pearson's Correlation Test (r=0,5533; d.f.=15; p=0,0324). The aim of present work was to take advantages of the complete non invasivity and results' reliability of the new technique based on blow sampling, for systematically monitoring in bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) progesterone profiles during the three different phases of estrous cycle (A), pregnancy (B) and lactation (C).
For the purposes of the study three females were sampled every week. The subject "ALFA" (approx. 27 years old) was monitored from March 2006 for a period of 23 months during all the phases A, B and C; the captive born dolphins "BLUE" and "LUNA" (8 and 10 years old, respectively) were monitored from May 2005 for a period of 24 months (phases A and B) the former, and from March 2006 for a period of 14 months (phase A) the latter. While Blue was housed at Oltremare (Riccione, Italy), both other females were living in Rimini Delfinario (Italy). Dolphins were trained to blow into polypropylene bottles. Progesterone concentrations were determined by a validated radioimmunoessay.
Figure 1. Blow progesterone concentration weekly trend during different reproductive phases ***In this period data on the subject “Blue” are missing due to technical problems.
As for oestrous cycle, the results confirmed the bottlenose dolphin nature of seasonal poliestral species, with ovulation occurring at least 2-3 times per year in a period lasting between early spring and late autumn.
A dramatic increase of blow progesterone concentrations emerged as soon as pregnancy started. In fact, both Alfa and Blue showed mean values of hormone significantly different (p<0.01) shifting from a non pregnant to a pregnant status.
At the same manner, the birth of the calf, with the consequent starting of the lactating phase, induced animmediate decrease in progesterone concentration, at their lowest point in blow measurements.
The development of diagnostic procedures and stress avoiding approaches such as the blow sampling
not only supports captive animalsmanagement with respect to their wellness, but also provides an
opportunity for using the enhanced knowledge in programmes of conservation aimed at improving
species' reproductive potential in the wild.
AKNOWLEDGMENTS We thank Delfinario Rimini and Oltremare owners and staff. Special aknowledgments go to Claudia Giglietti, Deana Arata, Roberta Viggiani and Danilo Matteuzzi. This work was supported by a RFO (Bologna University) grant.


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