Abstract # 80:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


A. Heagerty1, R. Wales1, A. Daws1, D. H. Gottlieb1, A. Maier1, K. Andrews1, K. Prongay1, K. Rosenberg2, M. T. Menard2, J. S. Meyers2, K. Coleman1 and M. A. Novak2
1Oregon National Primate Research Center, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA, 2University of Massachusetts, Amherst
     Alopecia is a ubiquitous, multifaceted problem at facilities caring for captive rhesus macaques. Stress, bacterial infections, compromised immunologic function and nutritional deficiencies have been considered as potential etiologies for this condition. We examined the effect of direct sunlight exposure on alopecia in adult, group housed rhesus macaques. Subjects (62F, 11M) lived in one of 7 enclosures containing 20-45 individuals. Four enclosures were southern facing (i.e., had relatively high sunlight exposure) and three were northern facing. Animals were given an alopecia score from 0-5 based on hair loss during semi-annual physical exams. We also took a hair sample to measure cortisol. We used GLMMs to evaluate alopecia scores, with social group as a random effect. Fixed effect variables tested included sex, age, group density, hair cortisol concentration, and exposure of the enclosure. Sunlight exposure significantly predicted alopecia. Animals in northern-facing enclosures had significantly more alopecia than those in southern-facing enclosures (B=0.68, p<0.05), suggesting that sunlight exposure might influence hair loss. Interestingly, there was no correlation between hair cortisol concentrations and alopecia score (r=0.14, p=0.21), suggesting that animals with high levels of alopecia were not suffering from more chronic stress than with little hair loss. More work is needed to determine whether the decreased sunlight exposure results in decreased levels of Vitamin D, which has been associated with alopecia.