Abstract # 3061 Poster # 174:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 23 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


HAIR CORTISOL LEVEL IS CORRELATED WITH ADRENAL CAPACITY AND INFLUENCED BY BIRTH TIMING IN INFANT RHESUS MONKEYS (MACACA MULATTA)

J. J. Vandeleest1,2, A. F. Hamel3, J. Meyer3, M. A. Novak3, S. P. Mendoza2 and J. P. Capitanio1,2
1University of California, Davis, Department of Psychology, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center, 3University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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Hair cortisol has been shown to increase in response to housing relocation in monkeys and has been associated with higher levels of perceived stress in humans. It is still unclear, however, how hair cortisol levels relate to other measurements of the HPA axis. In the current study cortisol was measured in hair and 4 blood samples which were collected from 28 3-4 month old rhesus monkeys during a standardized biobehavioral assessment program. Results indicated that while controlling for the sex and age of the infant, hair cortisol levels correlated significantly with plasma cortisol 30 min after the administration of ACTH (Partial correlation, alpha = 0.05), but not with cortisol levels immediately after or approximately 6 hours after relocation to a novel environment or cortisol levels the morning after administration of dexamethasone. Individual variation in hair cortisol was predicted by birth timing (ANOVA, alpha = 0.05); infants born early in the birth season displayed significantly higher hair cortisol levels than those born during the middle of or late in the birth season. These data suggest that hair cortisol may reflect the capacity of the adrenal to respond to ACTH stimulation, and that development of this aspect of the system may be influenced by birth timing.