Variable foraging demand rearing: sustained elevations in cisternal cerebrospinal fluid corticotropin-releasing factor concentrations in adult primates.
The authors previously reported elevated cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) concentrations in juvenile primates nursed by mothers undergoing experimentally imposed unpredictable foraging conditions in comparison to normally reared controls. The purpose of the present study was to determine if these changes would endure into young adulthood.
Cisternal CSF samples were obtained from those unpredictably reared young adult primates who had been previously studied as juveniles and age-matched ad libitum normally reared controls. Samples were assayed for CSF CRF.
Concentrations of CSF CRF were significantly elevated in the unpredictably reared sample in comparison to the ad libitum-reared control group. A significant positive correlation was noted between juvenile and young adult CSF CRF values within the unpredictably reared cohort.
Disturbances of maternal-infant attachment processes have an enduring impact on primate CRF function into young adulthood. The CRF elevations following unpredictable maternal foraging conditions appear traitlike in nature.