Abstract # 147:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2010 02:00 PM-02:10 PM: Session 27 (Mezzanine Ballroom A/B/C/D) Oral Presentation


VARIATION IN GESTATIONAL CORTISOL PREDICTS PATTERNS OF GROWTH AND MATURATION IN MARMOSETS (CALLITHRIX GEOFFROYI)

A. C. Mustoe, J. A. French and A. K. Birnie
University of Nebraska at Omaha, Callitrichid Research Center, Omaha, NE 68182, USA
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Cortisol levels associated with pregnancy can vary dramatically among individual females, and this variation can influence the somatic growth of offspring. Urinary cortisol was measured in the third trimester in 18 pregnancies for 5 white-faced marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi). Somatic growth measurements of offspring were taken at day 2, 30, and 60 and thereafter at 60-day intervals until 540 days [n=21], and 29 offspring were measured through 300 days of age. We calculated a marmoset body mass index-BMI. The BMI is a calculation of composite growth using body weight divided by squared torso length (a substitute for height). Correlations between BMI and Gestational Cortisol trended negatively, day 180 being significant [r(27)=-0.45, P<0.05]. For the full data set [n=29] we separated offspring into those exposed to high vs. low gestational cortisol. Differential exposure to cortisol impacted somatic measures as offspring developed. High-cortisol offspring had significantly lower BMI scores [F(6,162)=2.94, P<0.01], lower weights [F(6, 162)=2.17, P<0.05], and longer torso lengths, [F(6,162)=2.57, P<0.05] during juvenile growth, relative to low-cortisol offspring. Post-hoc comparisons of the data set of marmosets reaching day 540 in age showed that BMI at 120 days through 420 days in high-cortisol offspring were significantly lower than in low-cortisol offspring [t’s>2.3, P’s<0.05]. These data suggest that marmoset offspring exposed to high cortisol during the third trimester have delayed composite growth as juveniles. Supported in part by NIH, HD42882.