Abstract # 131:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 05:00 PM-05:15 PM: (Grand Ballroom) Oral Presentation


ASSOCIATIONS OF INFLAMMATORY MARKERS WITH SEX, AGE, AND CORTISOL IN ZOO-HOUSED WESTERN LOWLAND GORILLAS (GORILLA GORILLA GORILLA)

A. N. Edes and D. E. Crews
The Ohio State University, 4034 Smith Laboratory, 174 West 18th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
line
     

Sex, age, and stress may affect inflammatory markers, such as albumin, C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a). This research explored whether sex, age, and cortisol are associated with inflammatory markers in western lowland gorillas. Biomarkers were assayed from banked gorilla serum (n=63, aged 6-52 years) from three North American zoos. Relationships between inflammatory markers and sex were tested using t-tests, and relationships with age and cortisol were tested using linear regressions (α=0.05). Males had higher albumin than females (p=0.001). Albumin was negatively associated with age (p=0.000, R2=0.195) and cortisol (p=0.024, R2=0.073). Females had higher CRP than males (p=0.000). CRP showed no relationship with age (p=0.874), but a positive association with cortisol (p=0.000, R2=0.236). IL-6 showed no significant difference between males and females (p=0.956). In addition, IL-6 was positively associated with age (p=0.001, R2=0.195), but was not associated with cortisol (p=0.729). When outliers were excluded, females had significantly higher TNF-α than males (p=0.037), although this relationship was absent when outliers were retained (p=0.145). TNF-α was not significantly associated with age (p=0.440), but was positively associated with cortisol (p=0.000, R2=0.432). As persistent elevations in inflammatory markers are associated with chronic degenerative conditions (e.g., cardiovascular disease, arthritis) and many zoo-housed great apes develop such conditions, understanding how sex, age, and stress affect their serum concentrations may aid in improving primate health and welfare.