Early environments that developing organisms encounter during ontogeny have profound and persistent effects throughout life. In human offspring, variation in early family environments and gestational endocrine environments can profoundly shape multiple biosocial parameters, including sociality and behavior, stress reactivity, pubertal timing, and later parental style. We will examine the impact of early environments on development in a marmoset model that is relevant to human development. Marmoset development occurs in a family system, with multiple caregivers providing qualitatively and quantitatively different forms of care. Further, mothers often conceive immediately postpartum, leading to elevated maternal steroid hormones (including androgens) that can impact both developing fetuses (via placental transfer) and nursing offspring (via milk-borne steroids), a condition often found in human females (e.g., polycystic ovarian syndrome). In addition, female marmosets also exhibit elevated and varying levels of glucocorticoid hormones during pregnancy, suggesting that offspring may be differentially affected. The studies described in this application will address 3 aims: 1) Does variation in early care produce phenotypic variation in behavioral, physiological, and parental care?;2) How is behavioral, somatic, and reproductive development shaped by pre- and postnatal exogenous steroids in marmosets?;and 3) does variation in gestational exposure to glucocorticoid hormone alter developmental trajectories, particularly in the stress system and somatic development? Using an established colony of marmosets, we will evaluate the links between early care received by marmosets and later parental care toward their own offspring. Secondly, we will look for associations among maternal androgens during gestation and during lactation (including concentrations in milk) and subsequent biobehavioral parameters. Finally, we will monitor cortisol responses to a standardized psychosocial stressor to evaluate whether exposure to high fetal glucocorticoids programs marmosets to be stress-responsive.

Public Health Relevance

Differences in early uterine and postnatal social environments predispose developing offspring toward characteristics that have health relevance (e.g., pubertal timing, stress reactivity, sociality). These projects will assess the impact of early environments on biosocial development in marmosets, a species with many similarities to human sociality and biology.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01HD042882-08
Application #
8277376
Study Section
Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology Study Section (BRLE)
Program Officer
Freund, Lisa S
Project Start
2002-07-01
Project End
2015-05-31
Budget Start
2012-06-01
Budget End
2013-05-31
Support Year
8
Fiscal Year
2012
Total Cost
$190,824
Indirect Cost
$51,384
Name
University of Nebraska Omaha
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
190827162
City
Omaha
State
NE
Country
United States
Zip Code
68182
Mustoe, Aaryn C; Harnisch, April M; Hochfelder, Benjamin et al. (2016) Inequity aversion strategies between marmosets are influenced by partner familiarity and sex but not oxytocin. Anim Behav 114:69-79
Cavanaugh, Jon; Carp, Sarah B; Rock, Chelsea M et al. (2016) Oxytocin modulates behavioral and physiological responses to a stressor in marmoset monkeys. Psychoneuroendocrinology 66:22-30
French, Jeffrey A; Taylor, Jack H; Mustoe, Aaryn C et al. (2016) Neuropeptide diversity and the regulation of social behavior in New World primates. Front Neuroendocrinol 42:18-39
French, Jeffrey A (2016) Genes, dopamine pathways, and sociality in primates. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 113:6325-7
French, Jeffrey A; Carp, Sarah B (2016) Early-life Social Adversity and Developmental Processes in Nonhuman Primates. Curr Opin Behav Sci 7:40-46
Taylor, Jack H; French, Jeffrey A (2015) Oxytocin and vasopressin enhance responsiveness to infant stimuli in adult marmosets. Horm Behav 75:154-9
Mustoe, Aaryn C; Cavanaugh, Jon; Harnisch, April M et al. (2015) Do marmosets care to share? Oxytocin treatment reduces prosocial behavior toward strangers. Horm Behav 71:83-90
Taylor, Jack H; Mustoe, Aaryn C; Hochfelder, Benjamin et al. (2015) Reunion behavior after social separation is associated with enhanced HPA recovery in young marmoset monkeys. Psychoneuroendocrinology 57:93-101
Ren, Dongren; Lu, Guoqing; Moriyama, Hideaki et al. (2015) Genetic diversity in oxytocin ligands and receptors in New World monkeys. PLoS One 10:e0125775
Cavanaugh, Jon; Mustoe, Aaryn C; Taylor, Jack H et al. (2014) Oxytocin facilitates fidelity in well-established marmoset pairs by reducing sociosexual behavior toward opposite-sex strangers. Psychoneuroendocrinology 49:1-10

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