Abstract # 157:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


HAIR CORTISOL TITER AS A MEASURE OF STRESS IN CAPTIVE OWL MONKEYS (AOTUS NANCYMAAE)

J. L. Weed1, L. E. Williams2, M. L. Thomas1 and M. Mandel1
1Division of Veterinary Resources/Office of Research Services/NIH/DHHS, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA, 2Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine, UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, TX 78602
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     Primates received into laboratories typically undergo a quarantine period before being released into the experimental population. While this period is assumed to be stressful, few studies have measured how long the stress continues to affect the animals once released from quarantine. Davenport et al. have developed an assay to measure cortisol titers in hair. They have suggested that this procedure measures the long term effects of stress by measuring cortisol deposited in the growing hair. In order to investigate how long cortisol remains elevated in long term housed Aotus, we collected 8 hair samples across two years from 29 owl monkeys (Aotus nancymaae). Seven samples were collected while the animals were anesthetized, one while they were awake. Ten animals were housed as M-F pairs and had been paired at another lab before shipment. They remained paired throughout the study. Nineteen monkeys were singly housed. Examination of the results across the experimental period indicate that of the samples assayed so far, mean cortisol titers decreased across time (F(5,110) =2.91, p=.019, partial n2 =.23), from a mean of 2029 (+ 1024 SEM) pg/ml to a low of 67 (+ 12 SEM) pg/ml. At one point the animals were moved to accommodate building repairs, and this resulted in a high spike in hair cortisol values. The implications of animal exposure to routine laboratory events will be discussed.