PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-3 (3)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
Authors
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Effects of reproductive condition and dominance rank on cortisol responsiveness to stress in free-ranging female rhesus macaques 
American journal of primatology  2010;72(7):559-565.
The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis modulates individuals’ physiological responses to social stress, which is an inevitable aspect of the daily lives of group-living animals. Previous nonhuman primate studies have reported that sex, age, rank and reproductive condition influence cortisol levels under stressful conditions. In this study we investigated cortisol responses to stress among 70 multiparous, free-ranging female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on the island of Cayo Santiago, PR. Plasma cortisol samples were collected in two consecutive years under similar conditions. Twenty-two females were sampled both years, and most of those females were lactating in only one of the years. Individual differences in cortisol levels were stable across years, even though reproductive condition changed for most individuals. No relationship was found between age or social rank and cortisol levels. Of the females that changed reproductive conditions, cortisol levels were higher when they were lactating than when they were cycling, and the amount of change in cortisol from cycling to lactating was greatest for low-ranking individuals. Heightened reactivity to stress during lactation may be the result of concerns about infant safety, and such concerns may be higher among low-ranking mothers than among higher ranking mothers. Psychosocial stress and hyperactivation of the HPA axis during lactation can suppress immune function and increase vulnerability to infectious diseases, thus explaining why adult females in the free-ranging rhesus macaque population on Cayo Santiago have a higher probability of mortality during the birth season than during the mating season.
doi:10.1002/ajp.20793
PMCID: PMC4013499  PMID: 20039328
reproductive condition; cortisol; rank; rhesus macaques
2.  Measuring salivary analytes from free-ranging monkeys 
Physiology & behavior  2010;101(5):601-607.
Studies of large free-ranging mammals have been revolutionized by non-invasive methods for assessing physiology, which usually involve the measurement of fecal or urinary biomarkers. However, such techniques are limited by numerous factors. To expand the range of physiological variables measurable non-invasively from free-ranging primates, we developed techniques for sampling monkey saliva by offering monkeys ropes with oral swabs sewn on the ends. We evaluated different attractants for encouraging individuals to offer samples, and proportions of individuals in different age/sex categories willing to give samples. We tested the saliva samples we obtained in three commercially available assays: cortisol, Salivary Alpha Amylase, and Secretory Immunoglobulin A. We show that habituated free-ranging rhesus macaques will give saliva samples voluntarily without training, with 100% of infants, and over 50% of adults willing to chew on collection devices. Our field methods are robust even for analytes that show poor recovery from cotton, and/or that have concentrations dependent on salivary flow rate. We validated the cortisol and SAA assays for use in rhesus macaques by showing aspects of analytical validation, such as that samples dilute linearly and in parallel to assay standards. We also found that values measured correlated with biologically meaningful characteristics of sampled individuals (age and dominance rank). The SIgA assay tested did not react to samples. Given the wide range of analytes measurable in saliva but not in feces or urine, our methods considerably improve our ability to study physiological aspects of the behavior and ecology of free-ranging primates, and are also potentially adaptable to other mammalian taxa.
doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.09.003
PMCID: PMC3959823  PMID: 20837036
field methods; laboratory methods; enzyme-immuno-assay; immune function; cortisol; alpha amylase; secretory immunoglobulin A; saliva; mammalian
3.  Terminal investment and senescence in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) on Cayo Santiago 
Behavioral Ecology  2010;21(5):972-978.
Long-lived iteroparous species often show aging-related changes in reproduction that may be explained by 2 non-mutually exclusive hypotheses. The terminal investment hypothesis predicts increased female reproductive effort toward the end of the life span, as individuals have little to gain by reserving effort for the future. The senescence hypothesis predicts decreased female reproductive output toward the end of the life span due to an age-related decline in body condition. Nonhuman primates are ideal organisms for testing these hypotheses, as they are long lived and produce altricial offspring heavily dependent on maternal investment. In this study, we integrated 50 years of continuous demographic records for the Cayo Santiago rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) population with new morphometric and behavioral data to test the senescence and terminal investment hypotheses. We examined relationships between maternal age and activity, mother and infant body condition, interbirth intervals, measures of behavioral investment in offspring, and offspring survival and fitness to test for age-associated declines in reproduction that would indicate senescence, and for age-associated increases in maternal effort that would indicate terminal investment. Compared with younger mothers, older mothers had lower body mass indices and were less active, had longer interbirth intervals, and spent more time in contact with infants, but had infants of lower masses and survival rates. Taken together, our results provide strong evidence for the occurrence of reproductive senescence in free-ranging female rhesus macaques but are also consistent with some of the predictions of the terminal investment hypothesis.
doi:10.1093/beheco/arq098
PMCID: PMC2920293  PMID: 22475990
aging; life history; maternal investment; offspring fitness; reproductive senescence; rhesus macaques

Results 1-3 (3)