Abstract # 13145 Poster # 90:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Chula Vista ) Poster Presentation


THE ASSOCIATION OF OXYTOCIN RECEPTOR GENOTYPE ON SOCIAL BEHAVIOR IN LABORATORY-HOUSED RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

E. K. Wood1, R. Kruger1, J. P. Capitanio2, S. Lindell3 and C. S. Barr3
1Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602, USA, 2University of California, Davis, CNPRC, 3National Institutes of Health, NIAAA
line
     Social relationships play a critical role in human mental and physical health. Studies show that, in humans, a single-nucleotide-polymorphism (SNP) in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene influences the quality of human relationships. Rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) are ideally-suited to model genetic influences on social bonding. A recent study in rhesus monkeys characterized a G-to-T nonsynonymous SNP in the OXTR gene, with the T allele associated with decreased oxytocin binding. To assess the relationship between this newly-discovered OXTR genotype and social behavior, blood samples were obtained from N = 42 rhesus monkeys (21 males, 21 females) living in semi-naturalistic conditions. DNA was extracted and OXTR genotype was recorded for each subject. As young adults (M = 6.23 years), subjects’ affiliative behaviors (e.g., number of social partners, rates of grooming, initiating social affiliation, and their frequency of social proximity) were recorded by trained observers during four 300-second observations. Analyses showed a statistically significant association between genotype and frequency of receiving grooming (F(2,26) = 8.058, p = 0.009), with subjects homozygous for the T allele showing increased rates of being groomed, when compared to subjects possessing a G allele. These findings suggest that subjects homozygous for the T allele show evidence of increased affiliative behavior when compared to subjects with a G allele.