Abstract # 50:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 04:00 PM-04:15 PM: (Cascade E) Oral Presentation


T. E. Ziegler and C. T. Snowdon
University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, 1220 Capitol Court, Madison, WI 53715, USA
     Prolactin and oxytocin serve many different functions. Both are involved in breastfeeding by promoting lactation (prolactin) and release of milk (oxytocin), mother-infant bonding and possibly, pair bonding. Although both hormones have been studied extensively in parenting, prolactin’s role in pair bonding behaviors has not. We examined oxytocin, prolactin and behavior in male-female pairs of cotton-top tamarins (Sagiuinus oedipus) across the ovulatory cycle to determine if urinary prolactin and oxytocin were associated with affiliative and sexual behavior. Prolactin levels of males and females were similar within pairs (Rs=0.68, N=11, P=0.02), and variation was explained by the amount of sexual behavior (Rs=0.76, N=11, P=0.02) and contact affiliation (Rs=0.71, N=8, P=0.05) in males. In females, variation was explained by contact affiliation (Rs=0.58, N=19, P=0.01). Oxytocin levels were similar within pairs (Rs=0.71, N=14, P=0.02) and the variation for both sexes was explained by the amount of affiliative behavior (Rs=0.78, N=14, P<0.01) and for males also by the amount of sexual behaviors (F(3,10)=21.54, P=0.001). Both oxytocin and prolactin are associated with sexual and affiliative behaviors in paired tamarins. To examine the release of prolactin and oxytocin, we examined hypothalamic explants in male paternally experienced and naïve common marmosets, Callithrix jacchus. Prolactin and oxytocin levels were elevated more in the explants from paternal males than in parentally naïve males. Both prolactin and oxytocin reflect social bonding in cooperatively breeding monkeys.