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Endocrine and Cognitive Adaptations to Cope with Stress in Immature Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus): Sex and Age Matter.

de Sousa MB, Galvão AC, Sales CJ, de Castro DC, Galvão-Coelho NL - Front Psychiatry (2015)

Bottom Line: This species is an important experimental model in psychiatry, and we found a dual profile for cortisol in the transition from juvenile to subadult, with females showing higher levels.Moreover, chronic stressed juvenile marmoset males showed better cognitive performance in working memory tests and motivation when compared to those submitted to short-term stress living in family groups.Moreover, available cognitive tests should be scrutinized to allow better investigation of cognitive traits in this species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Brain Institute, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte , Natal , Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Phenotypic sex differences in primates are associated with body differentiation during the early stages of life, expressed in both physiological and behavioral features. Hormones seem to play a pivotal role in creating a range of responses to meet environmental and social demands, resulting in better reactions to cope with challenges to survival and reproduction. Steroid hormones actively participate in neuroplasticity and steroids from both gonads and neurons seem to be involved in behavioral modulation in primates. Indirect evidence suggests the participation of sexual steroids in dimorphism of the stress response in common marmosets. This species is an important experimental model in psychiatry, and we found a dual profile for cortisol in the transition from juvenile to subadult, with females showing higher levels. Immature males and females at 6 and 9 months of age moved alone from the family group to a new cage, over a 21-day period, expressed distinct patterns of cortisol variation with respect to range and duration of response. Additional evidence showed that at 12 months of age, males and females buffered the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during chronic stress. Moreover, chronic stressed juvenile marmoset males showed better cognitive performance in working memory tests and motivation when compared to those submitted to short-term stress living in family groups. Thus, as cortisol profile seems to be sexually dimorphic before adulthood, age and sex are critical variables to consider in approaches that require immature marmosets in their experimental protocols. Moreover, available cognitive tests should be scrutinized to allow better investigation of cognitive traits in this species.

No MeSH data available.


(A) Plates and (B) objects that were used for memory tests.
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Figure 1: (A) Plates and (B) objects that were used for memory tests.

Mentions: In Experiment III, two reverse learning memory tests – (1) object test and (2) box test – were used to assess working memory in all animals of the IG and FG groups. None of the animals had been submitted to cognitive tests. The object memory test involves memory discrimination and was adapted from Roberts and Wallis (31). Easy-to-handle three-dimensional plastic objects of different shapes and colors (Figure 1A) were used. During the tests, two different objects were placed on top of two plates presented to the animals through feed drawers located below the unidirectional visor, without animal interaction with the experimenter (Figure 1B). In the direct phase, the same object was paired with food reward and was repeatedly presented with different objects on the empty plate throughout this phase of the trials. After the animal learned the task, the next phase (reverse) began. In the reverse phase, the animals had to learn that the food was associated with the object that had been changed during the trials.


Endocrine and Cognitive Adaptations to Cope with Stress in Immature Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus): Sex and Age Matter.

de Sousa MB, Galvão AC, Sales CJ, de Castro DC, Galvão-Coelho NL - Front Psychiatry (2015)

(A) Plates and (B) objects that were used for memory tests.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4663272&req=5

Figure 1: (A) Plates and (B) objects that were used for memory tests.
Mentions: In Experiment III, two reverse learning memory tests – (1) object test and (2) box test – were used to assess working memory in all animals of the IG and FG groups. None of the animals had been submitted to cognitive tests. The object memory test involves memory discrimination and was adapted from Roberts and Wallis (31). Easy-to-handle three-dimensional plastic objects of different shapes and colors (Figure 1A) were used. During the tests, two different objects were placed on top of two plates presented to the animals through feed drawers located below the unidirectional visor, without animal interaction with the experimenter (Figure 1B). In the direct phase, the same object was paired with food reward and was repeatedly presented with different objects on the empty plate throughout this phase of the trials. After the animal learned the task, the next phase (reverse) began. In the reverse phase, the animals had to learn that the food was associated with the object that had been changed during the trials.

Bottom Line: This species is an important experimental model in psychiatry, and we found a dual profile for cortisol in the transition from juvenile to subadult, with females showing higher levels.Moreover, chronic stressed juvenile marmoset males showed better cognitive performance in working memory tests and motivation when compared to those submitted to short-term stress living in family groups.Moreover, available cognitive tests should be scrutinized to allow better investigation of cognitive traits in this species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Brain Institute, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte , Natal , Brazil.

ABSTRACT
Phenotypic sex differences in primates are associated with body differentiation during the early stages of life, expressed in both physiological and behavioral features. Hormones seem to play a pivotal role in creating a range of responses to meet environmental and social demands, resulting in better reactions to cope with challenges to survival and reproduction. Steroid hormones actively participate in neuroplasticity and steroids from both gonads and neurons seem to be involved in behavioral modulation in primates. Indirect evidence suggests the participation of sexual steroids in dimorphism of the stress response in common marmosets. This species is an important experimental model in psychiatry, and we found a dual profile for cortisol in the transition from juvenile to subadult, with females showing higher levels. Immature males and females at 6 and 9 months of age moved alone from the family group to a new cage, over a 21-day period, expressed distinct patterns of cortisol variation with respect to range and duration of response. Additional evidence showed that at 12 months of age, males and females buffered the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during chronic stress. Moreover, chronic stressed juvenile marmoset males showed better cognitive performance in working memory tests and motivation when compared to those submitted to short-term stress living in family groups. Thus, as cortisol profile seems to be sexually dimorphic before adulthood, age and sex are critical variables to consider in approaches that require immature marmosets in their experimental protocols. Moreover, available cognitive tests should be scrutinized to allow better investigation of cognitive traits in this species.

No MeSH data available.