Maternal activity, anxiety, and protectiveness during moderate nutrient restriction in captive baboons (Papio sp.)

Lydia E.O. Light, Thad Q. Bartlett, Annica Poyas, Mark J. Nijland, Hillary F. Huber, Cun Li, Kate Keenan, Peter W. Nathanielsz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: We hypothesized that maternal nutrient restriction (NR) would increase activity and behavioral indicators of anxiety (self-directed behaviors, SDBs) in captive baboons (Papio sp.) and result in more protective maternal styles. Methods: Our study included 19 adult female baboons. Seven females ate ad libitum (control group), and eight females ate 30% less (NR group) and were observed through pregnancy and lactation. Results: Control females engage in higher rates of SDB than NR females overall (P ≤.018) and during the prenatal period (P ≤.001) and engage in more aggressive behavior (P ≤.033). Control females retrieved infants more than NR females during weeks 5-8 postpartum (P ≤.019). Conclusions: Lower SDB rates among prenatal NR females reduce energy expenditure and increase available resources for fetal development when nutritionally restricted. Higher infant retrieval rates by controls may indicate more infant independence rather than maternal style differences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-256
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of medical primatology
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Keywords

  • developmental programming
  • mother-infant interactions
  • nutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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