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Urinary C-peptide measurement as a marker of nutritional status in macaques.

Girard-Buttoz, C and Higham, JP and Heistermann, M and Wedegärtner, S and Maestripieri, D and Engelhardt, A (2011) Urinary C-peptide measurement as a marker of nutritional status in macaques. PLoS One, 6 (3). pp. 1-9. ISSN 1932-6203

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Abstract

Studies of the nutritional status of wild animals are important in a wide range of research areas such as ecology, behavioural ecology and reproductive biology. However, they have so far been strongly limited by the indirect nature of the available non-invasive tools for the measurement of individual energetic status. The measurement of urinary C-peptide (UCP), which in humans and great apes shows a close link to individual nutritional status, may be a more direct, non-invasive tool for such studies in other primates as well and possibly even in non-primate mammals. Here, we test the suitability of UCPs as markers of nutritional status in non-hominid primates, investigating relationships between UCPs and body-mass-index (BMI), skinfold fatness, and plasma C-peptide levels in captive and free-ranging macaques. We also conducted a food reduction experiment, with daily monitoring of body weight and UCP levels. UCP levels showed significant positive correlations with BMI and skinfold fatness in both captive and free-ranging animals and with plasma C-peptide levels in captive ones. In the feeding experiment, UCP levels were positively correlated with changes in body mass and were significantly lower during food reduction than during re-feeding and the pre-experimental control condition. We conclude that UCPs may be used as reliable biomarkers of body condition and nutritional status in studies of free-ranging catarrhines. Our results open exciting opportunities for energetic studies on free-ranging primates and possibly also other mammals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 13:24
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2016 13:35
DOI or Identification number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0018042
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2532

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