, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 273–280 | Cite as

Plasma insulin-like growth factor-I, testosterone and morphological changes in the growth of captive agile gibbons (Hylobates agilis) from birth to adolescence

  • Juri SuzukiEmail author
  • Akino Kato
  • Norihiko Maeda
  • Chihiro Hashimoto
  • Makiko Uchikoshi
  • Toshiaki Mizutani
  • Chisato Doke
  • Tetsuro Matsuzawa
Original Article


We examined growth changes in concentrations of plasma insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and testosterone, and somatometric parameters in two captive male agile gibbons from birth to about 4 years of age, to examine the evolution of growth patterns in primates. Plasma IGF-1 concentrations in agile gibbons generally increased with age with values ranging from 200 to 1,100 ng/ml. The growth profiles in plasma IGF-1 in the gibbons were similar to those reported for chimpanzees. The highest concentrations of plasma testosterone (230 and 296 ng/dl) were observed within the first 0.3 years from birth, then the concentrations rapidly decreased and fluctuated below 100 ng/dl. Continuously higher IGF-1 concentrations were observed after 2.6 and 3.5 years of age. The profiles of plasma testosterone in these gibbons also resembled those of other primates including humans. However, their plasma testosterone levels in both neonate and adult stages (60 ng/dl) were lower than those reported for macaques and chimpanzees of respective stages. The obtained growth profiles of plasma IGF-1 and testosterone suggest that the adolescent phase starts around 2.6 or 3.5 years of age in male agile gibbons. The growth trend in many morphological parameters including body weight showed a linear increase without a significant growth spurt at approximately the onset of puberty. Head length and first digit length had reached a plateau during the study period. Brachial index, which indicates the relative length of forearm to upper arm, significantly increased gradually through the growth period. This result indicates that forearm becomes relatively longer than the upper arm with growth, which may be an evolutionary adaptation for brachiation.


Gibbon Growth Insulin-like growth factor-1 Somatometry Testosterone 



We would like to thank the staff of the Center for Human Evolution Modeling Research, Primate Research Institute of Kyoto University, for their assistance throughout the study. We are also grateful to Prof. S. Sri Kantha, of the Center, for his valuable criticism, and to Ms. Y. Suzuki for her technical assistance.


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Copyright information

© Japan Monkey Centre and Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Juri Suzuki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Akino Kato
    • 1
  • Norihiko Maeda
    • 1
  • Chihiro Hashimoto
    • 1
  • Makiko Uchikoshi
    • 2
  • Toshiaki Mizutani
    • 2
  • Chisato Doke
    • 2
  • Tetsuro Matsuzawa
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Human Evolution Modeling Research, Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityAichi 484-8506 Japan
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Primate Research InstituteKyoto UniversityAichiJapan

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