Abstract # 175:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 17 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation

Plasma Cytokine levels: Relationship to early maternal interactions in socially reared vervet monkeys (Chlorobcebus aethiops sabaeus).

M. L. Laudenslager1, L. A. Fairbanks2 and M. J. Jorgensen2
1Univ. of Colorado Denver Health Sciences Center, Dept. of Psychiatry - AO11-09, Behavioral Immunology and Endocrinology Laboratory, 4455 E. 12th Ave, Denver, CO 80220, USA, 2University of California Los Angeles, Semel Institute, Los Angeles CA, 90024
     Plasma cytokines might be related to aspects of early experience of mothers and infants. Observations of undisturbed Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus) mother-infant pairs were conducted from 5-12 wk of age, a period of wide individual differences in mother-infant behavior. At 22-30 mo of age the focal subjects experienced a standardized novelty challenge which involved being removed from the home cage, placed in an individual cage, and exposed to novel stimuli. Blood was collected after a 2 hr quiet period. Sixty subjects were selected for analysis of cytokines in addition to plasma cortisol. Cytokine assays with cross reactivity in vervets included gamma interferon (?-INF), interleukin -6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF??) (U-CyTech). cortisol was measured by radioimmunoassay (DPC). Inflammatory cytokines, TNF?? and IL-6, were below limits of assays in these healthy young monkeys. Plasma cortisol was unrelated to maternal experiences but was related to agitation during the novelty test. In contrast ?-INF showed significant relationships to maternal experiences. Young infants having less contact with the mother had significantly higher plasma ?-INF levels as juveniles (ps < .001). High ?-INF juveniles had relatively neglectful mothers who were more likely to leave their infants and less likely to restrain them. These infants had significantly higher rates approaching and leaving mothers, suggesting a more active role in exploring the environment at an early age. [Supported in part by NIH grants AA013973 (ML), MH061852 (LF), and RR019963 (LF)]