Abstract # 4436 Poster # 63:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


THE PRESENCE OF A MALE CO-TWIN IN UTERO DOES NOT AFFECT THE LIFETIME REPRODUCTIVE SUCCESS OF FEMALE MARMOSETS (CALLITHRIX KUHLII)

J. Cavanaugh and J. A. French.
University of Nebraska - Omaha, 6001 Dodge Street, Omaha, NE 68182, USA
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Developing embryos and fetuses in litter-bearing mammals are exposed to variable hormonal environments, attributable in part to the sex of the adjacent fetus. Prenatal exposure of a female in utero to steroid hormones from adjacent male fetuses can have detrimental effects on future reproductive success, in addition to the well-known masculinizing effects on anatomical and behavioral characteristics, in many mammalian species. In marmoset monkeys, which produce heterozygotic twin litters, there is extensive in utero vascular communication among co-twins that allows for the potential transfer of hormones between womb-mates, and hence masculinization of females that gestate with male co-twins. Analyses of marmoset breeding records at the Callitrichid Research Center revealed that the latency to a female’s first parturition was not significantly different between females (n=20) that had a male or female co-twin. Female marmosets that shared a uterine environment with males did not have significantly diminished lifetime breeding success as adults: a female’s annual production of offspring that survived past weaning, over her breeding lifespan, was unaffected by the presence of a male co-twin. Interbirth intervals across the breeding lifespan were also not significantly different between females that had a male or female co-twin. Thus, it appears that marmoset monkeys have protective mechanisms that minimize the negative reproductive consequences for females that gestate with male co-twins. Supported by NIH (HD42882).