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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.


The plexiglass container used for box memory tests at top right; common marmoset family living in the LEAP colony.
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Figure 2: The plexiglass container used for box memory tests at top right; common marmoset family living in the LEAP colony.

Mentions: The box memory test is a spatial memory test adapted from Murai et al. (32). A cuboid plexiglass box measuring 30 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm, with a 17-cm circular hole on one side, was used (Figure 2). This experimental apparatus was placed inside the cage and the experimenter observed the performance of the animals through a unidirectional visor in the front wall of the cage. During direct phase tests, the animal had to find the side of the box containing the hole, which was always facing upward, and obtain the reward. After the animal learned the task, the next phase (reverse) was initiated. In the reverse phase, the animal had to find the new side of the box where the opening was located and obtain the reward.


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)

The plexiglass container used for box memory tests at top right; common marmoset family living in the LEAP colony.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 2: The plexiglass container used for box memory tests at top right; common marmoset family living in the LEAP colony.
Mentions: The box memory test is a spatial memory test adapted from Murai et al. (32). A cuboid plexiglass box measuring 30 cm × 30 cm × 30 cm, with a 17-cm circular hole on one side, was used (Figure 2). This experimental apparatus was placed inside the cage and the experimenter observed the performance of the animals through a unidirectional visor in the front wall of the cage. During direct phase tests, the animal had to find the side of the box containing the hole, which was always facing upward, and obtain the reward. After the animal learned the task, the next phase (reverse) was initiated. In the reverse phase, the animal had to find the new side of the box where the opening was located and obtain the reward.

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.