A1 Journal article (refereed)
Developmental plasticity of mitochondrial aerobic metabolism, growth and survival by prenatal glucocorticoids and thyroid hormones : an experimental test in wild great tits (2022)

Cossin-Sevrin, N., Hsu, B.-Y., Marciau, C., Viblanc, V. A., Ruuskanen, S., & Stier, A. (2022). Developmental plasticity of mitochondrial aerobic metabolism, growth and survival by prenatal glucocorticoids and thyroid hormones : an experimental test in wild great tits. Journal of Experimental Biology, 225(9), Article jeb243414. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.243414

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Cossin-Sevrin, Nina; Hsu, Bin-Yan; Marciau, Coline; Viblanc, Vincent A.; Ruuskanen, Suvi; Stier, Antoine

Journal or series: Journal of Experimental Biology

ISSN: 0022-0949

eISSN: 1477-9145

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 14/04/2022

Volume: 225

Issue number: 9

Article number: jeb243414

Publisher: The Company of Biologists

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.243414

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/83383


Developmental plasticity is partly mediated by transgenerational effects, including those mediated by the maternal endocrine system. Glucocorticoid and thyroid hormones may play central roles in developmental programming through their action on metabolism and growth. However, the mechanisms by which they affect growth and development remain understudied. One hypothesis is that maternal hormones directly affect the production and availability of energy-carrying molecules (e.g. ATP) by their action on mitochondrial function. To test this hypothesis, we experimentally increased glucocorticoid and thyroid hormones in wild great tit eggs (Parus major) to investigate their impact on offspring mitochondrial aerobic metabolism (measured in blood cells), and subsequent growth and survival. We show that prenatal glucocorticoid supplementation affected offspring cellular aerobic metabolism by decreasing mitochondrial density, maximal mitochondrial respiration and oxidative phosphorylation, while increasing the proportion of the maximum capacity being used under endogenous conditions. Prenatal glucocorticoid supplementation only had mild effects on offspring body mass, size and condition during the rearing period, but led to a sex-specific (females only) decrease in body mass a few months after fledging. Contrary to our expectations, thyroid hormones supplementation did not affect offspring growth or mitochondrial metabolism. Recapture probabilities as juveniles or adults were not significantly affected by prenatal hormonal treatments. Our results demonstrate that prenatal glucocorticoids can affect post-natal mitochondrial density and aerobic metabolism. The weak effects on growth and apparent survival suggest that nestlings were mostly able to compensate for the transient decrease in mitochondrial aerobic metabolism induced by prenatal glucocorticoids.

Keywords: metabolism; cell respiration; hormonal factors; corticosterone; developmental biology; cell physiology; birds; great tit

Free keywords: cellular metabolism; corticosterone; prenatal programming; avian development; thyroid hormones; Parus major

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-29-09 at 14:02