Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

Joshua C. Campbell, Kevin D. Laugero, Julie A. Van Westerhuyzen, Caroline M. Hostetler, Justin D. Cohen, Karen L. Bales

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The direct costs of paternal care are relatively well documented in primates, however little research has explored these effects in monogamous rodents. The present study examines the long-term effects that pairing and parenting have on male prairie voles. We hypothesized that there would be a significant weight loss over the course of pairing and parenting, presumably from the energetic demands that accompany these changes in social condition. In a longitudinal study, we followed ten male prairie voles through being housed with their brother; paired with a female; and caring for three consecutive litters. We found a significant drop in bodyweight across time, with maximum weight loss near the weaning of the first litter. At that same time, feeding increased, leading to possible recovery in weight; however, leptin levels dropped precipitously across time and did not recover. Corticosterone did not change significantly across time points, and overall activity levels also did not vary significantly over the course of the study. In addition, newly paired males showed a significant increase in preference for a 2% sucrose solution during a three-hour test, indicating a metabolic need for more calories. A cross-sectional study confirmed leptin and corticosterone findings, and showed significant loss of subcutaneous (inguinal) fat in males that had cared for a litter of pups, when compared to males housed with their brothers or newly paired males. These results suggest that cohabitation with a female, and caring for pups, all have costs for male prairie voles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 7 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Arvicolinae
Costs and Cost Analysis
Parenting
Corticosterone
Leptin
Weight Loss
Siblings
Groin
Subcutaneous Fat
Social Conditions
Grassland
Object Attachment
Weaning
Primates
Longitudinal Studies
Sucrose
Rodentia
Cross-Sectional Studies
Weights and Measures
Research

Keywords

  • Corticosterone
  • Energetics
  • Leptin
  • Metabolism
  • Paternal care
  • Prairie vole

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Campbell, J. C., Laugero, K. D., Van Westerhuyzen, J. A., Hostetler, C. M., Cohen, J. D., & Bales, K. L. (2009). Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Physiology and Behavior, 98(3), 367-373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.06.014

Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). / Campbell, Joshua C.; Laugero, Kevin D.; Van Westerhuyzen, Julie A.; Hostetler, Caroline M.; Cohen, Justin D.; Bales, Karen L.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 98, No. 3, 07.09.2009, p. 367-373.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Campbell, JC, Laugero, KD, Van Westerhuyzen, JA, Hostetler, CM, Cohen, JD & Bales, KL 2009, 'Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)', Physiology and Behavior, vol. 98, no. 3, pp. 367-373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.06.014
Campbell JC, Laugero KD, Van Westerhuyzen JA, Hostetler CM, Cohen JD, Bales KL. Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Physiology and Behavior. 2009 Sep 7;98(3):367-373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.06.014
Campbell, Joshua C. ; Laugero, Kevin D. ; Van Westerhuyzen, Julie A. ; Hostetler, Caroline M. ; Cohen, Justin D. ; Bales, Karen L. / Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). In: Physiology and Behavior. 2009 ; Vol. 98, No. 3. pp. 367-373.
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