Abstract # 174:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 08:30 AM-08:40 AM: Session 16 (Mission Bay Ballroom AB) Oral Presentation


T. E. Ziegler and S. L. Prudom
Wisconsin National Primate Res. Ctr., 1220 Capitol Court, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53715, USA

Common marmoset fathers (Callithrix jacchus) actively carry multiple infants for a high percentage of the day [up to 80%]. We have reported previously that fathers gain weight during their mate’s pregnancy and have hypothesized that this prepares them for their high energetic cost of infant care. We also predict that prolactin is involved in weight changes. To address these questions, we examined fathers for: 1) changes in weight during infant care, 2) their levels of serum prolactin and 3) whether manipulating prolactin would affect their weight during parenting. Fifteen males were weighed during the end of a normal gestation and weekly during the first three weeks of infant care. Prolactin levels increased during the three weeks of infant care. All males were examined under three treatments: lowered prolactin (cabergoline), no manipulation (control treatment) and elevated prolactin (prolactin pumps) prepartum and the following three weeks of infant care. Weight significantly decreased over the three weeks from prebirth [ANOVA, F(4,15)=4.55; p=0.008] with week 3 postbirth the lowest [p<0.05]. Treatment significantly influenced weight loss [Friedman, p=0.05] with a significant loss during the lowered prolactin treatment [p=0.01] and the elevated prolactin treatment resulted in no weight loss. These results suggest that fathers do lose weight with infant care. The prolactin manuipulations suggest that prolactin plays a role in buffering males from the weight loss associated with infant care. MH070423.