Abstract # 188:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


BIOBEHAVIORAL CONSEQUENCES FOR INFANT RHESUS MONKEYS (MACACA MULATTA) OF PRENATAL EXPOSURE TO A MATRILINEAL OVERTHROW AND RELOCATION

J. A. Herrington1,2, L. Del Rosso 1,2 and J. Capitanio 1,2
1The University of California Davis, 135 Young Hall , One Sheilds Avenue , Davis, California 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center
line
     Differential postnatal experiences can result in significant phenotypic variability in rhesus macaques; however, relatively little is known about the influence of prenatal experience on infant postnatal phenotype. We investigated infant behavior and physiology in infant rhesus macaques that had been conceived in outdoor field cages, but owing to a matrilineal overthrow, had been relocated in utero to an indoor housing facility. Our prediction was that the presumed stress of the overthrow and relocation of pregnant females would alter the behavior and physiology of their infants. We compared prenatally-relocated infants born to mothers relocated in the first trimester (n=13) and second trimester (n=7) to three age-matched control groups: infants born to the same mothers in a different year (n=12), infants born in a comparable field cage in the same year (n=23), and infants that were gestated and reared indoors (n=13). One-way ANOVA found second trimester-relocated infants had elevated cortisol [F (1,18)=4.73, p=.043] and lower activity levels [F(1,18)=5.42, p=.032] compared to first trimester-relocated infants. One-way ANOVA and planned comparisons suggested second trimester-relocated infants had elevated plasma cortisol levels, [t (77)=2.517, p=.010] lower lymphocyte count, [t(76) = -2.97, p = .013] and were more emotionally reactive [t(79) = 3.089, p = .001] than infants born to field-caged mothers. Our results add to a growing body of literature that suggests prenatal experience can shape infant behavior and physiology.