Abstract # 3067 Event # 213:

Scheduled for Monday, September 19, 2011 09:45 AM-10:00 AM: Session 27 (Meeting Room 410) Oral Presentation


MU OPIOID RECEPTOR INVOLVEMENT IN SOCIAL AND NON-SOCIAL BEHAVIORS IN TITI MONKEYS (CALLICEBUS CUPREUS)

B. J. Ragen1,2, N. Maninger2, S. P. Mendoza2, M. R. Jarcho1,2 and K. L. Bales1,2
1University of California, Davis, Psychology Department, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center, Davis, CA 95616
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The opioid system, specifically the mu opioid receptor (MOR), can regulate affiliative behavior in infant-mother attachment and adult non-human primate friendships. Whether this system is also involved in pair-bonding in non-human primates is currently unknown. The monogamous titi monkey was used to explore whether the opioid system is involved in the behavioral components of pair-bonding. Eight adult, male titi monkeys received vehicle, the MOR agonist morphine (0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0 mg/kg) or the MOR antagonist naloxone (1.0 mg/kg) in the presence and absence of their pair-mate. Immediately after administration they were observed for 60 minutes. Various affiliative (ex. contact) and separation distress behaviors (ex. isolation-peeps) were measured. Regardless of condition, males decreased locomotion (F=21.78, p<0.0001) over time while passive contact increased (F=6.88, p=0.011). Morphine dose-dependently decreased locomotor behavior (F=2.87, p=0.0126) while significantly increasing scratching behavior (F=3.21, p=0.0066). When males were separated, naloxone increased locomotion (F=3.71, p=0.051). These data suggest that the MOR is involved in social and non-social behaviors in titi monkeys. Naloxone’s lack of effect on locomotor behavior when males are with their pair-mate may suggest that the pair-mate buffers naloxone’s negative effects. Opiates can alter levels of cortisol, oxytocin, and vasopressin, and the shift in the hormonal milieu may contribute to these behavioral changes. Funding: American Society of Primatologists; NIH RR00169 and HD053555; Good Nature Institute.