Measurement of salivary cortisol in two New World primate species
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Glucocorticoids (GCs) are mammalian steroid hormones involved in a variety of physiological processes, including metabolism, the immune response, and cardiovascular functions. Due to their link to the physiological stress response, GC measurement is a valuable tool for conservation and welfare assessment in animal populations. GC levels can be measured from different matrices, such as urine and feces. Moreover, especially in captive settings, measuring GCs from saliva samples proved particularly useful as those samples can be collected non-invasively and easily from trained animals. Salivary GC levels can be measured using a variety of analytical methods, such as enzyme immunoassays. However, it is crucial to validate the analytical method for each specific application and species when using a new matrix. Using high-pressure liquid chromatography and a cortisol enzyme immunoassay, we show that the main glucocorticoids secreted in the saliva of squirrel monkeys and brown capuchin monkeys are cortisol and cortisone. Our biological validation found the expected salivary cortisol level to decline throughout the day. Our findings support the reliability of salivary cortisol measurements and their potential to be used as a valid tool in research and welfare assessment for these non-human primates.
Stocker , M , O'Sullivan , E P , Palme , R , Millesi , E & Sonnweber , R 2023 , ' Measurement of salivary cortisol in two New World primate species ' , Biology , vol. 12 , no. 9 , 1181 . https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12091181
Copyright © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
DescriptionFunding: R.S. was supported by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, Young Independent Researcher Group (YIRG) grant; Grant Number ZK 66) and ERC Grant 230604 SOMACCA (to W. Tecumseh Fitch).
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