Increased levels of arginine vasotocin and neurophysin during nesting in sea turtles. Academic Article uri icon


  • Arginine vasotocin (AVT) and neurophysin (NP) levels were measured by radioimmunoassay in two species of sea turtle, the olive ridley, Lepidochelys olivacea, and the loggerhead, Caretta caretta, during the brief period of nesting and oviposition. In both species, AVT was low in animals which were not reproductively active. AVT was also low at the time animals emerged from the surf to nest, but increased significantly during oviposition and then declined as the animals returned to the water. NP increased in concert with AVT, also reaching highest levels during oviposition. In both species, however, NP levels remained elevated over prenesting levels at the time of return to the water. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that an AVT-neurophysin complex is released from the neurohypophysis during nesting, and that AVT is a physiological regulator of oviducal contractions in sea turtles.

published proceedings

  • Gen Comp Endocrinol

author list (cited authors)

  • Figler, R. A., MacKenzie, D. S., Owens, D. W., Licht, P., & Amoss, M. S.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Figler, RA||MacKenzie, DS||Owens, DW||Licht, P||Amoss, MS

publication date

  • January 1989