Chronic stress, allostatic load, and aging in nonhuman primates

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.
Development and Psychopathology (Impact Factor: 4.89). 11/2011; 23(4):1187-95. DOI: 10.1017/S0954579411000551
Source: PubMed


Allostatic load is the "wear and tear" of the body resulting from the repeated activation of compensatory physiological mechanisms in response to chronic stress. Allostatic load can significantly affect the aging process and result in reduced longevity, accelerated aging, and impaired health. Although low socioeconomic status is associated with high allostatic load during aging, the effects of status-related psychosocial stress on allostatic load are often confounded by lifestyle variables. Chronic psychosocial stress associated with low dominance rank in nonhuman primates represents an excellent animal model with which to investigate allostatic load and aging in humans. Research conducted with free-ranging rhesus monkeys suggests that female reproduction can also be a source of stress and allostatic load. Female reproduction is associated with increased risk of mortality and hyperactivation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Reproduction is especially stressful and costly for aging females of low rank. Although many indicators of body condition and neuroendocrine and immune function are influenced by aging, there are marked and stable individual differences among aging females in body condition, plasma cortisol responses to stress, and cytokine responses to stress. These differences are consistent with the hypothesis that there are strong differences in chronic stress among individuals, and that allostatic load resulting from chronic stress affects health during aging. Comparisons between captive and free-ranging rhesus monkey populations may allow us to understand how differences in environmental stress and allostatic load affect rates of aging, and how these in turn translate into differences in longevity and health.

1 Follower
22 Reads
  • Source
    • "Even more recently , Romero and colleagues (2009) identified limitations of the allostasis model and suggested a new framework, termed the Reactive Scope Model, which incorporates elements of both homeostasis and allostasis. With only a few exceptions (e.g., Howell and Sanchez 2011; Maestripieri and Hoffman 2011), most of the research on stress in nonhuman primates has not yet incorporated either the allostasis or reactive scope models. For this reason, this review will mainly use the classic terminology of stress, stressors, and stress responses. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Stressful life events have been linked to the onset of severe psychopathology and endocrine dysfunction in many patients. Moreover, vulnerability to the later development of such disorders can be increased by stress or adversity during development (e.g., childhood neglect, abuse, or trauma). This review discusses the methodological features and results of various models of stress in nonhuman primates in the context of their potential relevance for human psychopathology and endocrine dysfunction, particularly mood disorders and dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) system. Such models have typically examined the effects of stress on the animals' behavior, endocrine function (primarily the HPA and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal systems), and, in some cases, immune status. Manipulations such as relocation and/or removal of an animal from its current social group or, alternatively, formation of a new social group can have adverse effects on all of these outcome measures that may be either transient or more persistent depending on the species, sex, and other experimental conditions. Social primates may also experience significant stress associated with their rank in the group's dominance hierarchy. Finally, stress during prenatal development or during the early postnatal period may have long-lasting neurobiological and endocrine effects that manifest in an altered ability to cope behaviorally and physiologically with later challenges. Whereas early exposure to severe stress usually results in deficient coping abilities, certain kinds of milder stressors can promote subsequent resilience in the animal. We conclude that studies of stress in nonhuman primates can model many features of stress exposure in human populations and that such studies can play a valuable role in helping to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the role of stress in human psychopathology and endocrine dysfunction.
    ILAR journal / National Research Council, Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources 09/2014; 55(2):347-60. DOI:10.1093/ilar/ilu023 · 2.39 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Potentially traumatic events (PTEs) are common in the population, yet, the impact of total burden and specific types of PTEs on physical health has not been systematically investigated. Methods: Data were drawn from the Detroit Neighborhood Health Study, a community sample of predominately African Americans living in Detroit, Michigan, interviewed in 2008-2009 (N = 1,547) and in 2009-2010 (N = 1,054). Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards models were used. Results: Respondents with the highest levels of PTE exposure (8+ events) had an average age of adverse physical health condition diagnosis that was 15 years earlier than respondents with no exposure. There was a monotonic relation between number of PTEs and arthritis risk. Compared to those who reported no lifetime events, respondents with 1-2, 3-4, 5-7, and 8+ traumatic events had 1.06, 1.12, 1.73, and 2.44 times the hazard of arthritis. Assaultive violence (HR = 1.7; 95% CI 1.2-2.3) and other threats to physical integrity (HR = 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1) were particularly strong risk factors for arthritis. Conclusions: These results provide novel evidence linking PTEs, particularly those involving violence and threat to life, to elevated risk for arthritic conditions. Efforts to prevent or mitigate traumatic event exposures may have a broad range of benefits for health.
    Depression and Anxiety 05/2013; 30(5). DOI:10.1002/da.22090 · 4.41 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aging is associated with an increased incidence of pathological conditions such as neurodegeneration, cardiovascular and renal disease, and cancer. These conditions are believed to be linked to a disruption in cell homeodynamics, which is regulated by essential trace elements. In this study we used hair elementary analysis by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICPMS) to examine age-related profiles of 47 elements in both rats and common marmoset monkeys. Hair was collected from young adult (6 months) and aged (18 months) Long-Evans male rats, and young adult (2 years), middle-aged (4 years) and aged (>8 years) marmosets. The results revealed that aging reduces content levels of cobalt, potassium and selenium while content levels of aluminium, arsenic, boron, mercury, molybdenum, and titanium were elevated in aged rats. Similarly, aged marmosets showed reduced levels of cobalt and elevated levels of aluminium. Case studies in aged rats revealed that myocardial infarction was associated with elevated levels of sodium, potassium and cadmium and reduced zinc, while renal failure was linked to elevated content of potassium, chloride and boron and reduced contents of manganese. Carcinoma was linked to elevated arsenic and reduced selenium levels. These findings indicate that hair elementary profiles in healthy aging and age-related diseases reflect altered cell and organ metabolic functions. Cobalt and aluminium in particular may serve as biomarkers of aging in animal models. Thus, elementary deposition in hair may have predictive and diagnostic value in age-related pathological conditions, including cardiovascular and kidney disease and cancer.
    Biogerontology 09/2013; 14(5). DOI:10.1007/s10522-013-9464-1 · 3.29 Impact Factor
Show more


22 Reads
Available from