Behavioral, Immunological, and Hormonal Responses Associated With Social Change in Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulath)

Behavioral, Immunological, and Hormonal Responses Associated With Social Change in Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulath)

Behavioral, Immunological, and Hormonal Responses Associated With Social Change in Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulath)

Abstract

Twelve animals to be socially reorganized in a group of 49 animals were compared with ten animals in a socially stable group (n = 51) for reproductive hormones, cortisol concentrations, immune function, and behavioral patterns for a 6 week baseline and 16 week postreorganization period. Cortisol values, mitogen-induced lymphocyte blastogenesis, and rates of behavior reflected social events. Increased cortisols, increased noncontact aggression, and decreased mitogen response were associated with animal introductions. Increased cortisol concentration and decreased mitogen response correlated significantly only in animals removed from the group for trauma, and females successful at group membership exhibited lower cortisol concentrations. High-ranking animals in small stable groups exhibited significantly higher lymphocyte proliferation than rniddle- or low-ranking animals. While relative ranks established in small groups were maintained following reorganization, baseline cortisol values, nimmune measures, or male testosterone values did not predict success at group membership.

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