Abstract # 44:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 04:00 PM-04:15 PM: Session 6 (Crystal Ballroom) Oral Presentation

The Association Between The Neuropeptides Oxytocin (OT) and Vasopression (AVP) and the Behavior of Free-Ranging Female Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

S. Howell1, K. Bales2, T. Evans1, B. Jaffe1, G. Westergaard1 and J. Higley3
1Alpha Genesis, Inc., P.O. Box 557, 95 Castle Hall Rd., Yemasee, SC 29945, USA, 2University of California Davis, 3NIH/National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism
     This study is one of the first to consider the relationship between OT and AVP in solitary and social behavior patterns of free-ranging female rhesus macaques. CSF and blood samples were collected from 53 non-lactating females between October 2003 and December 2004 and concentrations of OT and AVP were tested using an EIA kit (intra-assay agreement of 3.21 - 3.55%; inter-assay agreement OT 2.82, AVP 14.29%). A focal animal sampling method was used to collect behavioral data (23 social behaviors, 13 solitary behaviors) within three months following physiological sampling for a total of two hours per focal subject (106 total observation hours). A Pearson product-moment correlation was calculated with a Bonferroni adjustment for multiple comparisons. Results indicate plasma OT was correlated with growth hormone (GH) (r = 0.591, P < 0.05) and the solitary behavior ‘lie’ (r = 0.304, P < 0.05) while VPT was correlated with the solitary behavior ‘leaping’ (r = 0.476, P < 0.05). Results suggest OT may be influenced by activity level but further study is needed. The result for VPT is particularly interesting as our prior research indicates long leaps between trees are an indicator of impulsivity; animals with higher levels of VPT appear to be more impulsive than their low VPT counterparts. Research continues toward understanding the relationship between these important neuropeptides and behavior. Research is supported by NIH/NIAAA Contract Number N01AA02018.