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This content will become publicly available on March 31, 2023

Title: The Effect of a Combined Fast and Chronic Stress on Body Mass, Blood Metabolites, Corticosterone, and Behavior in House Sparrows (Passer domesticus)
One aspect of the Reactive Scope Model is wear-and-tear, which describes a decrease in an animal’s ability to cope with a stressor, typically because of a period of chronic or repeated stressors. We investigated whether wear-and-tear due to chronic stress would accelerate a transition from phase II to phase III of fasting. We exposed house sparrows (Passer domesticus) to three weeks of daily fasts combined with daily intermittent repeated acute stressors to create chronic stress, followed by two weeks of daily fasts without stressors. We measured circulating glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate (a ketone), and uric acid in both fasted and fed states. We expected birds to be in phase II (high fat breakdown) in a fasted state, but if wear-and-tear accumulated sufficiently, we hypothesized a shift to phase III (high protein breakdown). Throughout the experiment, the birds exhibited elevated β-hydroxybutyrate when fasting but no changes in circulating uric acid, indicating that a transition to phase III did not occur. In both a fasted and fed state, the birds increased glucose mobilization throughout the experiment, suggesting wear-and-tear occurred, but was not sufficient to induce a shift to phase III. Additionally, the birds exhibited a significant decrease in weight, no change in corticosterone, and more » a transient decrease in neophobia with chronic stress. In conclusion, the birds appear to have experienced wear-and-tear, but our protocol did not accelerate the transition from phase II to phase III of fasting. « less
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The Yale journal of biology and medicine
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National Science Foundation
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