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Am J Primatol. 1998;44(1):29-41.

Individual differences in peripheral blood immunological and hormonal measures in adult male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): evidence for temporal and situational consistency.

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California Regional Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis 95616, USA.


A growing body of research has indicated that consistent individual differences exist in physiological systems with which the immune system interacts. Few data have been reported that demonstrate stable individual differences in immunological measures, however. In the present study, enumerative measures of immune system activity were examined in 36 adult male rhesus macaques over a 13 month period under baseline conditions as well as under conditions of pharmacological and physical challenge. Blood samples were assayed for plasma concentrations of ACTH and cortisol, as well as neutrophil, total lymphocyte, CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocyte numbers, and the CD4/CD8 ratio. Analyses revealed that individual differences in the CD4/CD8 ratio and, to a lesser extent, plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations, and neutrophil and CD4+ lymphocyte numbers were consistent across situations and times, despite changes in mean values during the various blood sampling sessions. The results suggest that the CD4/CD8 ratio might be considered trait-like and a useful immunological measure of biobehavioral organization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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