Letter | Published:

Suppression of oestrogen-induced LH surges by social subordination in talapoin monkeys

Nature volume 275, pages 5658 (07 September 1978) | Download Citation

Subjects

Abstract

IT is axiomatic that the social structure of a group of primates has a pervasive effect on each individual's behaviour. Thus, many monkeys form dominance hierarchies, based on the successful outcome of aggressive interactions, and the more subordinate animals show characteristic behavioural traits1,2. In particular, the social hierarchy has marked effects on reproductive behaviour, especially in talapoin monkeys, where sexual interactions tend to be the prerogative of the dominant males3. Subordinate male rhesus monkeys have limited access to sexually attractive females and produce fewer offspring4, and in the few species that have been carefully examined, subordinate females, although apparently receiving sexual attention, are, nevertheless, less fertile than would be expected5–7. Recently, it has become clear that the dominance hierarchy affects not only behaviour but also hormone levels. Testosterone is higher in dominant males8,9, cortisol and prolactin are raised in more subordinate animals10. We report here evidence that subordination can prevent the luteinising hormone (LH) surge which is normally induced by giving oestrogen to female monkeys, thus offering an explanation for reduced fertility and suggesting that this can be induced by behavioural interactions.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Anim. Behav. 22, 914–930 (1974).

  2. 2.

    Anim. Behav. 25, 465–474 (1977).

  3. 3.

    & Horm. Behav. 8, 141–154 (1977).

  4. 4.

    , & J. Reprod. Fert. 47, 25–31 (19XX).

  5. 5.

    Folia. Primatol. 21, 61–80 (1974).

  6. 6.

    & Nature 266, 351–352 (1977).

  7. 7.

    Folia. Primatol. 7, 37–65 (1967).

  8. 8.

    , & Nature 231, 366–368 (1971).

  9. 9.

    , & Rec. Adv. Primatol. 1, 533–548 (1978).

  10. 10.

    in Sex, Hormones and Behaviour (Ciba Symp., in the press).

  11. 11.

    , & J. zool. Res. 176, 177–210 (1975).

  12. 12.

    Rec. Prog. Horm. Res. 30, 1–46 (1974).

  13. 13.

    , & Steroids 18, 605–620 (1971).

  14. 14.

    , , & Endocrinology 34, 1166–1173 (1969).

  15. 15.

    R. Soc. Med. 66, 863–864 (1973).

  16. 16.

    , , & Br. med. J., 419–422 (1974).

  17. 17.

    , , , & Br. med. J. 669–672 (1972).

  18. 18.

    , , , & Am. J. Obstet Gynec. 125, 859–862 (1976).

  19. 19.

    & in Anatomical Neuroendocrinology (eds Stumpf, W. E. & Grant, L.) 409–419 (Karger-Basel, 1975).

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

    • LESLEY A. BOWMAN
    • , SUSAN R. DILLEY
    •  & E. B. KEVERNE

Authors

  1. Search for LESLEY A. BOWMAN in:

  2. Search for SUSAN R. DILLEY in:

  3. Search for E. B. KEVERNE in:

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/275056a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.