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1.  Conditioned Sexual Arousal in a Nonhuman Primate 
Hormones and behavior  2010;59(5):696-701.
Conditioning of sexual arousal has been demonstrated in several species from fish to humans, but has not been demonstrated in nonhuman primates. Controversy exists over whether nonhuman primates produce pheromones that arouse sexual behavior. Although common marmosets copulate throughout the ovarian cycle and during pregnancy, males exhibit behavioral signs of arousal, demonstrate increased neural activation of anterior hypothalamus and medial preoptic area and have an increase in serum testosterone after exposure to odors of novel ovulating females suggestive of a sexually arousing pheromone. Males also have increased androgens prior to their mate’s ovulation. However, males presented with odors of ovulating females demonstrate activation of many other brain areas associated with motivation, memory and decision making. In this study we demonstrate that male marmosets can be conditioned to a novel, arbitrary odor (lemon) with observation of erections, and increased exploration of the location where they previously experienced a receptive female, and increased scratching in postconditioning test without a female present. This conditioned response was demonstrated up to a week after the end of conditioning trials, a much longer lasting effect of conditioning than reported in studies of other species. These results further suggest that odors of ovulating females are not pheromones, strictly speaking, and that marmoset males may learn specific characteristics of odors of females providing a possible basis for mate identification.
doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.10.009
PMCID: PMC3043118  PMID: 21029736
Sexual conditioning; sexual arousal; pheromones; common marmosets; pair-bonding
2.  Glycerol Monolaurate Does Not Alter Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta) Vaginal Lactobacilli and Is Safe for Chronic Use▿  
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2008;52(12):4448-4454.
Glycerol monolaurate (GML) is a fatty acid monoester that inhibits growth and exotoxin production of vaginal pathogens and cytokine production by vaginal epithelial cells. Because of these activities, and because of the importance of cytokine-mediated immune activation in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) transmission to women, our laboratories are performing studies on the potential efficacy of GML as a topical microbicide to interfere with HIV-1 transmission in the simian immunodeficiency virus-rhesus macaque model. While GML is generally recognized as safe by the FDA for topical use, its safety for chronic use and effects on normal vaginal microflora in this animal model have not been evaluated. GML was therefore tested both in vitro for its effects on vaginal flora lactobacilli and in vivo as a 5% gel administered vaginally to monkeys. In vitro studies demonstrated that lactobacilli are not killed by GML; GML blocks the loss of their viability in stationary phase and does not interfere with lactic acid production. GML (5% gel) does not quantitatively alter monkey aerobic vaginal microflora compared to vehicle control gel. Lactobacilli and coagulase-negative staphylococci are the dominant vaginal aerobic microflora, with beta-hemolytic streptococci, Staphylococcus aureus, and yeasts sporadically present; gram-negative rods are not part of their vaginal flora. Colposcopy and biopsy studies indicate that GML does not alter normal mucosal integrity and does not induce inflammation; instead, GML reduces epithelial cell production of interleukin 8. The studies suggest that GML is safe for chronic use in monkeys when applied vaginally; it does not alter either mucosal microflora or integrity.
doi:10.1128/AAC.00989-08
PMCID: PMC2592867  PMID: 18838587
3.  Activation of Neural Pathways Associated with Sexual Arousal in Non-Human Primates 
Purpose
To evaluate brain activity associated with sexual arousal, fully conscious male marmoset monkeys were imaged during presentation of odors that naturally elicit high levels of sexual activity and sexual motivation.
Material and Methods
Male monkeys were lightly anesthetized, secured in a head and body restrainer with a built-in birdcage resonator and positioned in a 9.4-Tesla spectrometer. When fully conscious, monkeys were presented with the odors of a novel receptive female or an ovariectomized monkey. Both odors were presented during an imaging trial and the presentation of odors was counterbalanced. Significant changes in both positive and negative BOLD signal were mapped and averaged.
Results
Periovulatory odors significantly increased positive BOLD signal in several cortical areas: the striatum, hippocampus, septum, periaqueductal gray, and cerebellum, in comparison with odors from ovariectomized monkeys. Conversely, negative BOLD signal was significantly increased in the temporal cortex, cingulate cortex, putamen, hippocampus, substantia nigra, medial preoptic area, and cerebellum with presentation of odors from ovariectomized marmosets as compared to periovulatory odors. A common neural circuit comprising the temporal and cingulate cortices, putamen, hippocampus, medial preoptic area, and cerebellum shared both the positive BOLD response to periovulatory odors and the negative BOLD response to odors of ovariectomized females.
Conclusion
These data suggest the odor-driven enhancement and suppression of sexual arousal affect neuronal activity in many of the same general brain areas. These areas included not only those associated with sexual activity, but also areas involved in emotional processing and reward.
doi:10.1002/jmri.10456
PMCID: PMC1525212  PMID: 14745749
BOLD technique; approach/avoidance; magnetic resonance imaging; functional imaging; common marmoset; cerebellum; neural circuit; sexual motivation; suppressed sexual activity
4.  Pregnancy weight gain: marmoset and tamarin dads show it too 
Biology letters  2006;2(2):181-183.
Paternal behaviour is critical for the survival of offspring in many monogamous species. Common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) and cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) fathers spend as much or more time caring for infants than mothers. Expectant males of both species showed significant increases in weight across the pregnancy whereas control males did not (five consecutive months for marmoset males and six months for cotton-top tamarin males). Expectant fathers might be preparing for the energetic cost of fatherhood by gaining weight during their mate’s pregnancy.
doi:10.1098/rsbl.2005.0426
PMCID: PMC1483903  PMID: 16810338
weight gain; paternal care; couvades; primates
5.  Social odours, sexual arousal and pairbonding in primates 
We describe the role of social odours in sexual arousal and maintaining pairbonds in biparental and cooperatively breeding primates. Social odours are complex chemical mixtures produced by an organism that can simultaneously provide information about species, kinship, sex, individuality and reproductive state. They are long lasting and have advantages over other modalities. Both sexes are sensitive to changes in odours over the reproductive cycle and experimental disruption of signals can lead to altered sexual behaviour within a pair. We demonstrate, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), that social odours indicating reproductive state directly influence the brain areas responsible for sexual behaviour. Social odours also influence other brain areas typically involved in motivation, memory and decision making, suggesting that these signals have more complex functions in primates than mere sexual arousal. We demonstrate a rapid link between social odours and neuroendocrine responses that are modulated by a male's social status. Recent work on humans shows similar responses to social odours. We conclude with an integration of the importance of social odours on sexual arousal and maintaining pairbonds in socially biparental and cooperatively breeding species, suggesting new research directions to integrate social behaviour, neural activation and neuroendocrine responses.
doi:10.1098/rstb.2006.1932
PMCID: PMC1764847  PMID: 17118925
social odours; sexual arousal; pairbonds; primates; functional magnetic resonance imaging; neuroendocrine responses
6.  Pregnancy weight gain: marmoset and tamarin dads show it too 
Biology Letters  2006;2(2):181-183.
Paternal behaviour is critical for the survival of offspring in many monogamous species. Common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) and cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) fathers spend as much or more time caring for infants than mothers. Expectant males of both species showed significant increases in weight across the pregnancy whereas control males did not (five consecutive months for marmoset males and six months for cotton-top tamarin males). Expectant fathers might be preparing for the energetic cost of fatherhood by gaining weight during their mate's pregnancy.
doi:10.1098/rsbl.2005.0426
PMCID: PMC1483903  PMID: 16810338
weight gain; paternal care; couvade; primates

Results 1-6 (6)