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Open Access Measurement of Fecal Corticosterone Metabolites as a Predictor of the Habituation of Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) to Jacketing

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Jacket use in NHP is a common practice and is often considered a form of refinement during experiments necessitating extended periods of catheterization. An important consideration when using jackets is the physiologic effects that jacketing has on NHP and its potential to confound research. Several studies have evaluated the stress response and habituation of NHP to various forms of restraint, but none have looked directly at the timeframe necessary for the habituation of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) to jackets. We set out to determine whether 3 d was a sufficient timeframe for this species to become habituated to a jacket, with or without an undershirt, by evaluating 2 major physiologic parameters. After jacket placement, we measured food consumption and collected fecal samples to measure fecal corticosterone metabolites (FCM) daily for 2 wk. FCM measurements for NHP without undershirts were significantly increased for days 2 and 3 after jacketing before returning to baseline levels. FCM measurements for NHP with undershirts were significantly increased for only 1 d after jacketing, suggesting that the undershirt has a positive effect on jacket habituation. There were no measurable differences in food consumption during the jacket habituation period. Furthermore, no significant differences were noted between sexes. These findings suggest that FCM levels return to baseline 3 d after jacketing and could be a useful predictor of jacket habituation in rhesus macaques.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Veterinary Medicine Division (VMD), United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA. [email protected] 2: Veterinary Medicine Division (VMD), United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA 3: Statistician, United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), Fort Detrick, Maryland, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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  • The Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (JAALAS) serves as an official communication vehicle for the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The journal includes a section of refereed articles and a section of AALAS association news. The mission of the refereed section of the journal is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information on animal biology, technology, facility operations, management, and compliance as relevant to the AALAS membership. JAALAS accepts research reports (data-based) or scholarly reports (literature-based), with the caveat that all articles, including solicited manuscripts, must include appropriate references and must undergo peer review.

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