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Comparing techniques for measuring corticosterone in tadpoles

Glucocorticoids play a key role in the stress response in vertebrates. In particular, corticosterone (CORT) is the main glucocorticoid in amphibians, birds, and reptiles, and regulates several metabolic functions. The most common methods for measuring CORT levels are competitive binding immunoassays: radioimmunoassay (RIA) and enzyme immunoassay (EIA). Since the 1980's RIA has been broadly used but it requires radioactivity. In the last years, commercial kits of EIA has been developed and permit to measure CORT levels without the use of radioactivity although the volume required may be a strong limitation for using these kits. Here authors use Xenopus laevis larvae treated with exogenous CORT and compare the use of RIA on a chloroform extract of whole-body homogenate, EIA on plasma, and EIA on whole-body homogenate. It has been found that RIA was the most sensitive method because of the differences when low CORT concentrations were added and is the preferred when small individuals are used. EIA on plasma was a good non-radioactive alternative, although obtaining the required volume of plasma could limit the use of this technique. EIA on whole-body homogenate was the less sensitive technique, although may be useful when considerable differences in CORT levels are expected. Moreover, authors suggest the advantages and disadvantages of the procedures regarding sample size, handling time, and economic costs. Finally, findings are discussed in the context of previous studies on CORT in amphibians.  informacion[at]ebd.csic.es: Burraco et al (2015) Comparing techniques for measuring corticosterone in tadpoles. Curr Zool 61(5): 834 – 845 (2015)


http://www.currentzoology.org/paperdetail.asp?id=12490
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