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Alterations in specific antibody production due to rank and social instability
Separate studies examined the influence of the social environment of male cynomolgus macaques on primary and secondary antibody responses to immunization with tetanus toxoid. All animals showed evidence of both primary and secondary anti-tetanus antibody response. In the first study, subordinate animals had a greater primary antibody response to tetanus toxoid, while a single social reorganization (acute stressor) did not influence the response. In the second study, social rank was not associated with the secondary antibody response but repeated social reorganizations (chronic stressor) resulted in a greater level of specific antibody production in comparison to nonreorganized controls. These effects could not be accounted for on the basis of nonspecific differences in total serum IgG or serum albumin.