• luteal;
  • follicular;
  • body temperature;
  • heart rate;
  • phase;
  • activity


Reproductive cyclicity has a significant influence on the regulation of circadian rhythms in rodents. Studies have suggested that there are changes in body temperature rhythms between the follicular and luteal phases in human females. This study examined the effects of menstrual cyclicity on physiological and behavioral circadian rhythms in female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta), an acknowledged biomedical model. Seven unrestrained subjects were implanted with a biotelemetry transmitter to measure body temperature and heart rate and an accelerometer was used to measure physical activity. Water was available ad libitum and drinking was measured via an electronic circuit attached to a water lixit. A video-based task system, the Psychomotor Test System, provided environmental enrichment and delivered a pelletized diet. Mean, phase, and amplitude of each rhythm were calculated. Estrogen and progesterone conjugates were assayed and quantified from daily urine samples to identify follicular and luteal phases of the menstrual cycle. Average circadian variables were then compared between these phases. Heart rate was significantly (P≤0.05) delayed in the luteal phase. Albeit non-significant, analysis showed a trend toward decreased circadian amplitude of body temperature in the luteal phase. Am. J. Primatol. 70:19–25, 2008. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.