Abstract # 13439 Event # 55:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: (Room 326) Oral Presentation


EPIGENETICS AND THE TRAUMA OF LABORATORY LIFE?

S. Evans
Florida International University, MMC Campus, 11200 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida 33199, USA
line
     The DuMond Conservancy has received over many years owl monkeys (Aotus¬†spp.) retired from research laboratories when studies were terminated. While in the laboratory all monkeys were kept indoors in small cages and were regularly captured and restrained. On arrival at the DuMond Conservancy retired monkeys were transferred into more spacious outdoor cages, housed with a social companion of the opposite sex and typically allowed to reproduce. Evening observations revealed that many of these monkeys showed repetitive stereotyped behaviors typical of laboratory animals. In preparation for a study to examine the effects of olfactory enrichment on the expression of these behaviors 67 adult owl monkeys were surveyed to see if they performed repetitive behaviors. Forty per cent of lab monkeys (n=29) and 40% of the offspring of lab monkeys (n= 22) were observed performing these behaviors but no monkey that had no personal history or parental association with a laboratory (n=16) was observed to perform these behaviors. A growing body of evidence (in humans and non-humans) is revealing that responses to trauma are evident not only in individuals exposed to trauma but also in their offspring. It would not be unreasonable to describe monkeys housed in laboratories as traumatized and as the DuMond Conservancy is the only facility known to me that allows reproduction we have a unique opportunity to investigate possible epigenetic (inherited environmental) effects.