Seasonal variations in femoral gland secretions reveals some unexpected correlations between protein and lipid components in a lacertid lizard

Abstract : Animalsmodulate intraspecific signal shape and intensity, notably during reproductive periods. Signal variability typically follows a seasonal scheme, traceable through the expression of visual, acoustic, chemical and behavioral patterns. The chemical channel is particularly important in lizards, as demonstrated by well-developed epidermal glands in the cloacal region that secrete lipids and proteins recognized by conspecifics. In males, the seasonal pattern of gland activity is underpinned by variation of circulating androgens. Changes in the composition of lipid secretions convey information about the signaler’s quality (e.g., size, immunity). Presumably, individual identity is associated with a protein signature present in the femoral secretions, but this has been poorly investigated. For the first time, we assessed the seasonal variability of the protein signal in relation to plasma testosterone level (T), glandular activity and the concentration of provitamin D3 in the lipid fraction.We sampled 174 male common wall lizards (Podarcis muralis) over the entire activity season. An elevation of Twas observed one to twomonths before the secretion peak of lipids during the mating season; such expected delay between hormonal fluctuation and maximal physiological response fits well with the assumption that provitamin D3 indicates individual quality. One-dimensional electrophoretic analysis of proteins showed that gel bands were preserved over the season with an invariant region; a result in agreement with the hypothesis that proteins are stable identity signals. However, the relative intensity of bands varied markedly, synchronously with that of lipid secretion pattern. These variations of protein secretion suggest additional roles of proteins, an issue that requires further studies.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02265069
Contributor : Martine Lacalle <>
Submitted on : Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 12:27:05 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, August 15, 2019 - 1:09:16 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-02265069, version 1

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Marco Mangiacotti, Stefano Pezzi, Marco Fumagalli, Alan Jioele Coladonato, Patrizia D’ettorre, et al.. Seasonal variations in femoral gland secretions reveals some unexpected correlations between protein and lipid components in a lacertid lizard. Journal of Chemical Ecology, Springer Verlag, In press. ⟨hal-02265069⟩

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