Abstract # 6098 Event # 37:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 03:00 PM-03:15 PM: (Cascade E) Oral Presentation


HAIR CORTISOL IS ASSOCIATED WITH CHANGES IN HAIR LOSS AND BODY CONDITION ACROSS PUBERTY IN MALE RHESUS MONKEYS

A. M. Dettmer1, R. A. Woodward2, K. Rosenberg3, S. J. Suomi1, M. A. Novak3 and J. S. Meyer3
1Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, NIH, Poolesville, Maryland 20837, USA, 2Research Animal Management Branch, Division of Intramural Research, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development, NIH, 3Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst
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     Puberty in primates is a period of marked physiological and physical changes, yet little is known about how chronic levels of hormones relate to physical changes during this transition. We conducted a cross-sectional study of 60 rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta, 40 female) between 2-4 years of age to examine hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) as they relate to veterinary assessments of hair loss, body condition, body scores, and lymph node condition. Results of multivariate ANOVA revealed that males and females showed divergent scores on all physical measures except body score (0.008<p<0.045), with females overall exhibiting poorer condition between 2-3 years of age and males exhibiting poorer condition between 3-4 years of age, concurrent with the timing of puberty for each sex. Pearson correlations revealed that for males only, higher HCCs were correlated with greater hair loss (r=0.62, p<0.05) and greater lymph node enlargement (r=0.76, p<0.01). These associations between higher chronic circulating glucocorticoids and markers of immune function may shed light on the increased risk of mortality in juvenile male monkeys. Moreover, these findings underscore the utility of HCCs for identifying individuals at risk for adverse health outcomes related to pubertal changes in primates.