Abstract # 75:

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


EXPOSURE TO PRENATAL ANDROGENS INFLUENCES REPRODUCTIVE DEVELOPMENT IN MALE, BUT NOT FEMALE, MARMOSETS (CALLITHRIX GEOFFROYI) IN CAPTIVITY

M. C. Huffman1, A. K. Birnie1 and J. A. French1,2
1University of Nebraska at Omaha, Callitrichid Research Center, Department of Psychology, Omaha, NE 68182, USA, 2Department of Biology, University of Nebraska – Omaha
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     Fetal exposure to steroid hormones can influence postnatal reproductive development. Gestational steroid hormone modulation of reproductive development has not been documented in new world primates, including marmosets. We examined the association between gestational glucocorticoid and androgen exposure and reproductive development in marmoset offspring. Urine samples were collected from pregnant females and analyzed for cortisol (CORT) and testosterone (T) concentrations via enzyme immunoassay. Postnatal (2 to 18 months) urinary CORT was measured in all animals, along with T in males (n=16) and pregnandiol glucuronide (PdG) in females (n=6). In males, higher second trimester prenatal T levels were associated with an earlier onset of adult-like levels of T (R2=.46, F(1, 10)=8.50, p=.015). First and third trimester T levels were not associated with postnatal T levels in males (R2’s<.03, F’s(1, 10)<0.35, p’s>.569). Gestational CORT levels were not associated with postnatal T levels in males (R2‘s<.03, F’s(1, 15)<0.37, p's>.553). Neither prenatal T nor CORT levels in any trimester were associated with timing of first ovulation in females (R2’s<.53, F’s(1, 5)<2.28, p’s>.270). These results suggest that gestational androgen exposure may have an organizational effect on timing of gonadal maturation and pubertal processes in males, but not females. Given the complex social structure of marmosets and reproductive suppression in female, but not male, offspring, factors beyond hormonal influences may contribute to timing of first ovulation.