by

In:News

Comments Off on Neural correlates of mating system diversity: oxytocin and vasopressin receptor distributions in monogamous and non-monogamous Eulemur

  • Nicholas M. Grebe
  • Annika Sharma
  • Sara M. Freeman
  • Michelle C. Palumbo
  • Heather B. Patisaul
  • Karen L. Bales
  • Christine M. Drea

Abstract

Contemporary theory that emphasizes the roles of oxytocin and vasopressin in mammalian sociality has been shaped by seminal vole research that revealed interspecific variation in neuroendocrine circuitry by mating system. However, substantial challenges exist in interpreting and translating these rodent findings to other mammalian groups, including humans, making research on nonhuman primates crucial. Both monogamous and non-monogamous species exist within Eulemur, a genus of strepsirrhine primate, offering a rare opportunity to broaden a comparative perspective on oxytocin and vasopressin neurocircuitry with increased evolutionary relevance to humans. We performed oxytocin and arginine vasopressin 1a receptor autoradiography on 12 Eulemur brains from seven closely related species to (1) characterize receptor distributions across the genus, and (2) examine differences between monogamous and non-monogamous species in regions part of putative “pair-bonding circuits”. We find some binding patterns across Eulemur reminiscent of olfactory-guided rodents, but others congruent with more visually oriented anthropoids, consistent with lemurs occupying an ‘intermediary’ evolutionary niche between haplorhine primates and other mammalian groups. We find little evidence of a “pair-bonding circuit” in Eulemur akin to those proposed in previous rodent or primate research. Mapping neuropeptide receptors in these nontraditional species questions existing assumptions and informs proposed evolutionary explanations about the biological bases of monogamy.

“…mounted tissue sections on SuperFrost Plus slides (Brain Research Labs, Newton, MA) and stored them in a sealed slide box…”

Original Article