HPA flexibility and FKBP5: promising physiological targets for conservation

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Authors

Cédric Zimmer, Blanca Jimeno, Lynn Martin

Abstract

Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) flexibility is an emerging concept recognizing that individuals that will cope best with stressors will probably be those using their hormones in the most adaptive way. The HPA flexibility concept considers glucocorticoids as molecules that convey information about the environment from the brain to the body so that the organismal phenotype comes to complement prevailing conditions. In this context, FKBP5 protein appears to set the extent to which circulating glucocorticoid concentrations can vary within and across stressors. Thus, FKBP5 expression, and the HPA flexibility it causes, seem to represent an individual’s ability to regulate its hormones to orchestrate organismal responses to stressors. As FKBP5 expression can also be easily measured in blood, it could be a worthy target of conservation-oriented research attention. We first review the known and likely roles of HPA flexibility and FKBP5 in wildlife. We then describe putative genetic, environmental, and epigenetic causes of variation in HPA flexibility and FKBP5 expression among- and within-individuals. Finally, we hypothesize how HPA flexibility and FKBP5 expression should affect organismal fitness and hence population viability in response to human-induced rapid environmental changes, particularly urbanization.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.32942/X22S4P

Subjects

Life Sciences

Keywords

Stress, Urbanization, wildlife, coping, corticosterone, hormone, urbanization, wildlife, Coping, corticosterone, Hormone

Dates

Published: 2023-11-30 09:45

Last Updated: 2023-11-30 14:45

License

CC-BY Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International

Additional Metadata

Language:
English

Conflict of interest statement:
None

Data and Code Availability Statement:
Not applicable