Detection of urinary estrogen conjugates and creatinine using near infrared spectroscopy in Bornean orangutans (Pongo Pygmaeus)

Abstract

For promoting in situ conservation, it is important to estimate the density distribution of fertile individuals, and there is a need for developing an easy monitoring method to discriminate between physiological states. To date, physiological state has generally been determined by measuring hormone concentration using radioimmunoassay or enzyme immunoassay (EIA) methods. However, these methods have rarely been applied in situ because of the requirements for a large amount of reagent, instruments, and a radioactive isotope. In addition, the proper storage of the sample (including urine and feces) on site until analysis is difficult. On the other hand, near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy requires no reagent and enables rapid measurement. In the present study, we attempted urinary NIR spectroscopy to determine the estrogen levels of orangutans in Japanese zoos and in the Danum Valley Conservation Area, Sabah, Malaysia. Reflectance NIR spectra were obtained from urine stored using a filter paper. Filter paper is easy to use to store dried urine, even in the wild. Urinary estrogen and creatinine concentrations measured by EIA were used as the reference data of partial least square (PLS) regression of urinary NIR spectra. High accuracies (R 2 > 0.68) were obtained in both estrogen and creatinine regression models. In addition, the PLS regressions in both standards showed higher accuracies (R 2 > 0.70). Therefore, the present study demonstrates that urinary NIR spectra have the potential to estimate the estrogen and creatinine concentrations.

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Acknowledgments

We thank the Economic Planning Unit of the Malaysia Federal Government, the Economic Planning Unit of the Sabah State Government, Danum Valley Management Committee, and Sabah Wildlife Department for permission to conduct this study in Sabah. We are grateful to the supporters of our research, including Director and Professor Shiro Kohshima and other members of the Wildlife Research Center of Kyoto University, and students in the Biomeasurement Technology Laboratory of Kobe University. Also, we would like to thank all the staff in charge of Bornean orangutan management at Kushiro City Zoo and Zoorasia Yokohama Zoological Gardens. Finally, we would like to thank Dr. Henry Bernard from Universiti Malaysia Sabah, and Dr. Misato Hayashi and Dr. Tomoko Kanamori from Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University. The present study was supported by Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows (241484, 2540012).

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Correspondence to Kodzue Kinoshita.

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Kinoshita, K., Kuze, N., Kobayashi, T. et al. Detection of urinary estrogen conjugates and creatinine using near infrared spectroscopy in Bornean orangutans (Pongo Pygmaeus). Primates 57, 51–59 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10329-015-0501-3

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Keywords

  • Reproduction
  • Estrus
  • Sex steroid hormone
  • NIR spectra
  • Filter paper
  • Rapid monitoring