Behavioural and endocrine effects of naltrexone in male talapoin monkeys

Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 1980 Nov;13(5):663-72. doi: 10.1016/0091-3057(80)90010-6.


The effect of treating captive male talapoin monkeys with naltrexone hydrochloride (500 micrograms/kg intra-muscular injection twice daily) was studied both in socially living and singly caged animals. The behaviour of the group males and endocrine changes in all treated animals were monitored during the course of treatment and on drug withdrawal. Naltrexone significantly reduced sexual behaviour in previously active males, while increasing grooming interactions. Aggressive behaviour did not change. There was an overall significant elevation in testosterone, LH and cortisol during drug treatment and a significant decrease on withdrawal. Changes in prolactin in response to naltrexone depended upon the pre-treatment level of this hormone: in males in which levels were low, there was a significant elevation in prolactin, while in those with high pre-treatment prolactin, levels were unchanged by the drug. The behavioural changes reported for this primate are in direct contrast to changes reported in rodents, while the hormonal changes, except for prolactin, are comparable to others reported.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aggression / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Cercopithecidae
  • Hormones / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Naloxone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Naltrexone / pharmacology*
  • Sexual Behavior, Animal / drug effects*
  • Social Behavior


  • Hormones
  • Naloxone
  • Naltrexone