Serotonin function is associated with behavioral response to a novel conspecific in marmosets

Authors

  • Erin L. Kinnally,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska–Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
    2. Callitrichid Research Center, University of Nebraska–Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
    • Department of Psychology, University of California–Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616
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  • Heather A. Jensen,

    1. Callitrichid Research Center, University of Nebraska–Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
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  • Jennifer H. Ewing,

    1. Callitrichid Research Center, University of Nebraska–Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
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  • Jeffrey A. French

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska–Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
    2. Department of Biology, University of Nebraska–Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
    3. Callitrichid Research Center, University of Nebraska–Omaha, Omaha, Nebraska
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Abstract

The function of the central nervous system neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) contributes to individual differences in impulsive behavior in humans and nonhuman primates. We investigated the relationship between 5-HT function and behavioral responses to a novel social scenario in marmosets. In the first study, marmosets (n=10) were treated orally with fluoxetine HCl (FLX) or vehicle for two trial periods and exposed to a novel conspecific for a 20-min trial following each treatment. Levels of behavioral inhibition in response to a novel conspecific were quantified. The animals exhibited less inhibition toward the novel conspecific following the 14-day FLX treatment than they did following the vehicle treatment. In the second study we first characterized the parameters of the marmoset peripheral 5-HT system and further assessed the relationship between natural variation in peripheral 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels with behavioral inhibition in response to a novel conspecific (n=14). Individual peripheral 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels were higher in animals that exhibited more inhibition in response toward the stranger. We conclude that serotonergic influences play a role in behavioral response to a novel conspecific in marmosets. Am. J. Primatol. 68:812–824, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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