Abstract # 54:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009 06:30 PM-09:00 PM: Session 5 (Mission Bay Ballroom CDE) Poster Presentation


DIFFERENTIAL PREGNANCY EXPERIENCES AND POSTNATAL OUTCOMES MAY INDICATE INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN FETAL RESPONSES TO MATERNAL PSYCHOLOGICAL CHALLENGE IN RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

N. A. Bowling1, E. K. Mallott1, M. F. S. X. Novak1, M. L. Miller1, G. P. Sackett2, S. J. Suomi1, K. L. Robbins1 and C. S. Ionica1
1NIH - NICHD - LCE, NIH Animal Center, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA, 2Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington
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Prenatal maternal psychosocial experience results in diverse changes to offspring development. Few studies assess these experiences in species-typical settings, and fewer have investigated acute fetal effects. We collected data on socially housed rhesus monkeys [n=100, pregnant=20] in a 5-acre field enclosure during pregnancy and during postnatal mother-infant dyadic interactions. Acute physiological effects of differential social experience were also assessed using a smaller group [n=10] in a more controlled laboratory setting. Following a matrilineal overthrow at the start of birth season in the field enclosure, greater pregnancy and neonatal loss occurred [Binomial Sign Test, p(8,20,0.20)=0.032]. However, despite individual variation [27–102 days] no matrilineal differences occurred in the age infants were first observed >5 meters from mom [Kruskal-Wallis, n=17, p>0.05; median=59 days]. Similarly, in the laboratory, the individual differences in developing independence from mother also showed a range of variability [Median=49.5, n=10, range 19–111 days], and laboratory and field animals were not different [Kruskal-Wallis, p>0.05]. However, patterns of individual differences were detected. In animals repeatedly exposed to a treat-other challenge, acute maternal and fetal cardiovascular responses were consistent with the rank order for postnatal age at which infants in mother-infant dyads achieved independence using nuclear family caging. Maternal-fetal dyads in which both mother and fetuses experienced blood pressure changes in response to this mild challenge [ranks 3 and 4 of 4] developed into mother-infant dyads with older infants before achieving independence.