Abstract # 90:

Scheduled for Friday, June 20, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 12 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation


S. L. Watson1, D. B. Hanbury1, E. Thornton1 and M. B. Fontenot2
1University of Southern Mississippi, Department of Psychology, 118 College Drive, #5025, Hattiesburg, MS 39406, USA, 2New Iberia Primate Research Center, New Iberia, Louisiana
     Experimental protocols often require animals be relocated to areas away from the home cage. Relocation stress may influence the animal’s well-being as well as the experimental result. However, the optimal acclimation period is not well established for many species. We examined levels of fecal glucocorticoids (GC) in 10 male and 7 female Garnett’s bushbabies (Otolemur garnettii; 2–10 years) before and after moving from a facility in which the animals had been continuously housed for 33 months. Taking gut transit time into consideration, samples were collected to reflect levels of fecal GC at 4 time points: 1) day prior to the move; 2) day of the move; 3) three days following the move; and 4) seven days following the move. All samples were collected between 8 and 11am and only fresh-caught samples uncontaminated by urine were used. A mixed-model repeated measures ANOVA revealed a sex by time interaction [F(3,34)=3.96, p= 0.014]. For males and females, the pattern of GC response was similar, but more pronounced in females. GC increase on the day of relocation was not significantly above baseline. Three days subsequent to relocation, though, GC levels dropped significantly below those on relocation day. By one week post-relocation, GC levels normalized. These results suggest that acclimation periods would optimally span several days and should be sensitive to potential sex differences in stress response to relocation.