Abstract # 153:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation


EFFECTS OF POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING ON CORTISOL, HEMATOLOGY AND CARDIOVASCULAR PARAMETERS IN CYNOMOLGUS MACAQUES (Macaca fascicularis)

T. L. Koban, M. Miyamoto, G. Donmoyer and A. Hammar
Huntingdon Life Sciences, Mettlers Rd, East Millstone, NJ 08875, USA
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     Although a range of studies have shown beneficial behavioral and qualitative results of Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT) as environmental enrichment with captive nonhuman primates, sufficient quantitative data supporting these studies are less available and still very necessary. As the necessity for biomedical research models increases, so does the need to improve the research model and the psychological well being of nonhuman primates. Since the effectiveness of nonhuman primates as a research model can be adversely affected by stress, we decided to measure the effects of PRT on cortisol, hematology and cardiovascular parameters in 4 trained and 4 control male cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Trained subjects were exposed to daily 10-minute PRT sessions for 2 months and environmental enrichment was given 3 days a week for the same 2 months to both trained and control subjects. Results indicated that there was a statistically significant reduction in cortisol for trained subjects (Z = -1.826, one tailed P < 0.04), where cortisol in control subjects did not decrease from week 1 to week 8 (Z = -.730, one tailed P > 0.2). Heart rate in trained subjects decreased from week 1 to week 8 where in control subjects it increased. Hematology analyses have shown stress luekograms returning to a normal range in trained versus control subjects. These preliminary results show an overall tendency in decreasing stress levels comparing trained versus control subjects, week 1 to week 8. This study provides crucial quantitative data supporting PRT as an important factor for using nonhuman primates as a research model.