Abstract # 202:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 20, 2005 11:00 AM-11:15 AM: Session 14 (Mayfair Room) Oral Presentation


M. D. Davenport1,2, S. Tiefenbacher2, M. A. Novak1,2, C. K. Lutz1, V. Maguire2, L. Sudalter2, K. Stonemetz1 and J. S. Meyer1
1523 Tobin Hall, University of Massachusetts, Neuroscience & Behavior Program, Amherst, MA 01003, USA, 2New England Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Southborough, MA 01772
     Self-injurious behavior (SIB) occurs in humans and non-human primates alike, and is marked by HPA axis alterations. This study further investigated the underlying mechanisms of these alterations during chronic stress, and provided data from a new method of analysis. Twenty-one adult male rhesus macaques were used as subjects (SIB, n = 13; control, n = 8). Hair samples were collected immediately prior to and four months following a relocation. Serum samples were collected immediately prior to, and one week following relocation. The physiological response to relocation was clearly demonstrated with hair analysis; post-move cortisol concentration (mean = 39.5 ng/mg) was significantly elevated compared to pre-move (mean = 25.3 ng/mg, P < 0.02). Conversely, serum corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) concentrations significantly decreased following relocation (means: pre = 50.0 μg/ml, post = 43.1 μg/ml; P < 0.005), leading to a negative correlation between post-move CBG concentrations and post-move hair cortisol concentrations (R = -0.447, P < 0.05). Post-move CBG concentrations were also negatively correlated with age of initial individual housing (R = -0.480, P < 0.001). These data demonstrate that hair can be used to analyze stress reactivity in rhesus monkeys over substantial periods of time. Changes in hair cortisol are likely to reflect the combined contributions of altered cortisol production and fluctuations in circulating CBG through its regulatory effects on the availability of free cortisol for deposition in the hair shaft. Supported by NCRR grants #RR11122 and #RR00168.