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Dietary intake effects on arginine vasotocin and aldosterone in cloacal fluid of whitebellied sunbirds (Nectarinia talatala)

Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.cbpb.2004.06.006
  • African Sunbirds
  • Arginine Vasotocin
  • Aldosterone
  • Renal Excretion
  • Nectariniidae
  • Electrolyte Balance
  • Water Balance


Abstract The main objective of this study was to determine whether or not the renal outputs of the osmoregulatory hormones arginine vasotocin (AVT) and aldosterone (ALDO) reflect the osmotic status of whitebellied sunbirds ( Nectarinia talatala). The birds were fed a range of sucrose concentrations (from 0.07 to 2.5 mol/l, with osmolalities of 70 to ∼5,800 mosM/kg), and adjusted their intakes so that they drank large volumes of dilute diets and small volumes of concentrated diets. Renal fluid outputs were appropriately regulated so that large volumes of cloacal fluid (CF) were voided on the dilute diets and small volumes on the concentrated diets. Accordingly, plasma AVT concentrations increased with increasing sugar concentration; however, AVT outputs in CF did not change in a similar manner, rather they decreased as dietary concentration increased. It was not possible to measure plasma ALDO concentrations in the small sunbirds because of insufficient blood samples available; however, ALDO outputs in CF did vary with the sucrose diets and renal function, being highest on the most concentrated diet. In addition ALDO output in CF fell markedly when sodium was added to the 0.5 mol/l sucrose diet. We conclude that in sunbirds fed increasingly concentrated sucrose solutions, changes in CF outputs of ALDO, but not AVT, appear to reflect the water flux and hydration state of these birds.

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