Fecal corticosteroids in agouti and non-agouti deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus)

Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2002 Jun;132(2):439-46. doi: 10.1016/s1095-6433(02)00086-7.


Total and per gram fecal corticosteroid concentrations were determined for agouti and non-agouti deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus gracilis) over 24 h under normal caging conditions and after exposure to the stress of novel caging. Per gram corticosteroid concentrations, fecal output, and 24-h corticosteroid production were greater in stressed compared with unstressed deer mice of both color morphs, whereas stressed agoutis had a greater increase in per gram corticosteroid concentrations when compared with non-agoutis. However, due to increased fecal output, stressed non-agouti deer mice had greater 24-h corticosteroid production. Thus, agouti and non-agouti deer mice differ in their hormonal reaction to stress. This is the first demonstration of corticosteroid differences associated with the agouti locus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / analysis*
  • Agouti Signaling Protein
  • Animals
  • Feces / chemistry*
  • Female
  • Hair Color / genetics*
  • Housing, Animal
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mutation
  • Peromyscus / genetics*
  • Peromyscus / physiology*
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Proteins / physiology*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Stress, Physiological / genetics
  • Stress, Physiological / physiopathology
  • Time Factors


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Agouti Signaling Protein
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proteins