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Anglero-Rodriguez Y.I.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan | Pantoja P.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan | Sariol C.A.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan | Sariol C.A.,Caribbean Primate Research Center
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2014

Dengue is the world's most common mosquito-borne viral infection and a leading cause of morbidity throughout the tropics and subtropics. Viruses are known to evade the establishment of an antiviral state by regulating the activation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), a critical transcription factor in the alpha/beta interferon induction pathway. Here, we show that dengue virus (DENV) circumvents the induction of the retinoic acid-inducible gene I-like receptor (RLR) pathway during infection by blocking serine 386 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of IRF3. This effect is associated with the expression of nonstructural 2B/3 protein (NS2B/3) protease in human cells. Using interaction assays, we found that NS2B/3 interacts with the cellular IκB kinase ε (IKKε). Docking computational analysis revealed that in this interaction, NS2B/3 masks the kinase domain of IKKε and potentially affects its functionality. This observation is supported by the DENV-associated inhibition of the kinase activity of IKKε:. Our data identify IKKε: as a novel target of DENV NS2B/3 protease. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Gerald M.S.,Caribbean Primate Research Center | Gerald M.S.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan | Ayala J.,Caribbean Primate Research Center | Ruiz-Lambides A.,Caribbean Primate Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Naturwissenschaften | Year: 2010

Several primate species show sexual dichromatism with males displaying conspicuous coloration of the pelage or skin. Studies of scrotal coloration in male vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops) suggest that it is an important intrasexual signal, with relatively dark, colourful males dominating paler males. To date, no studies have examined the influence of male colour on intersexual social interactions in vervet monkeys. The primary goal of the present study was to evaluate whether female vervet monkeys attend to male coloration. We experimentally introduced females, housed with either "pale" or "dark" males, to stimulus males whose scrota were pale, dark, or pale but painted to look dark. Overall, during introductions, females did not differ in time spent directing affiliative behaviour toward pale, dark, and painted males; however, females, permanently housed with dark males, spent significantly more time directing affiliative behaviour toward pale than painted males. When the stimulus male was pale, affiliative exchanges between males and females were longer than when the stimulus male was painted. Home male colour was not related to female-initiated aggression. Home male colour was also not related to male-initiated aggression, although painted stimulus males were more likely to initiate aggression than pale stimulus males. These findings lead us to conclude that females pay attention to male coloration, but do not bias their interactions toward males solely on the basis of natural male coloration. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.


Higham J.P.,University of Chicago | Brent L.J.N.,Roehampton University | Dubuc C.,University of Montréal | Dubuc C.,German Primate Center | And 6 more authors.
Behavioral Ecology | Year: 2010

Animal coloration has provided many classical examples of both natural and sexual selection. Methods to study color signals range from human assessment to models of receiver vision, with objective measurements commonly involving spectrometry or digital photography. However, signal assessment by a receiver is not objective but linked to receiver perception. Here, we use standardized digital photographs of female rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) face and hindquarter regions, combined with estimates of the timing of the female fertile phase, to assess how color varies with respect to this timing. We compare objective color measures (camera sensor responses) with models of rhesus vision (retinal receptor stimulation and visual discriminability). Due to differences in spectral separation between camera sensors and rhesus receptors, camera measures overestimated color variation and underestimated luminance variation compared with rhesus macaques. Consequently, objective digital camera measurements can produce statistically significant relationships that are probably undetectable to rhesus macaques, and hence biologically irrelevant, while missing variation in the measure that may be relevant. Discrimination modeling provided results that were most meaningful (as they were directly related to receiver perception) and were easiest to relate to underlying physiology. Further, this gave new insight into the function of such signals, revealing perceptually salient signal luminance changes outside of the fertile phase that could potentially enhance paternity confusion. Our study demonstrates how, even for species with similar visual systems to humans, models of vision may provide more accurate and meaningful information on the form and function of visual signals than objective color measures do. © The Author 2010.


Nichols S.M.,Caribbean Primate Research Center | Gierbolini L.,Caribbean Primate Research Center | Gonzalez-Martinez J.A.,Caribbean Primate Research Center | Bavister B.D.,Caribbean Primate Research Center | Bavister B.D.,Wayne State University
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2010

Objective: To evaluate oocyte quality in a primate model. Design: Analysis of oocyte karyotype by chromosome spreading and oocyte spindles by confocal microscopy. Setting: Research laboratory, Caribbean Primate Research Center. Animal(s): Rhesus macaques aged 6-22 years. Intervention(s): Fourteen females underwent both Regimen A (FSH + hCG) and Regimen B (FSH only) stimulation cycles to facilitate collection of mature and immature oocytes. Immature oocytes from Regimens A and B underwent in vitro maturation (IVM) to produce metaphase II oocytes. All metaphase II oocytes underwent gradual fixation to spread chromosomes or were fixed and stained with probes specific to α-tubulin, actin, and DNA for visualization of the meiotic spindle using confocal microscopy. Main Outcome Measure(s): Karyotype and meiotic spindle architecture differences among in vivo matured (IVO) and IVM oocytes from young and old rhesus macaques. Result(s): In all, 4.7% of IVO oocytes (Regimen A) from young females were hyperhaploid versus 25.0% of IVM oocytes (Regimen B) from old females; 4.5% of IVO oocytes (Regimen A) from young females versus 51.5% of IVM oocytes (Regimen B) from old females displayed abnormal chromosome alignment on the metaphase spindle. Conclusion(s): IVM can induce meiotic anomalies in macaque oocytes, especially those obtained from older females. Results from this study provide possible explanations for the reported reduction in developmental competence of IVM primate oocytes. © 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine.


Dupont C.,Wayne State University | Segars J.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | DeCherney A.,U.S. National Institutes of Health | Bavister B.D.,Wayne State University | And 4 more authors.
Fertility and Sterility | Year: 2010

Objective: To establish the exact rates of chromosomal mosaicism in morphologically normal rhesus macaque embryos by determining the chromosomal complement of all blastomeres. Design: Retrospective rhesus monkey IVF study. Setting: Academic laboratory and primate research center. Patient(s): Young fertile rhesus macaque females. Intervention(s): Morphologically normal in vitro-produced rhesus macaque embryos were dissociated and cytogenetically assessed using a five-color fluorescent in situ hybridization assay developed for rhesus macaque chromosomes homologous to human chromosomes 13, 16, 18, X, and Y. Main Outcome Measure(s): The incidence and extent of chromosomal mosaicism in rhesus macaque preimplantation embryos. Result(s): Seventy-seven preimplantation embryos, displaying normal morphology and development, from 17 young rhesus macaque females were analyzed. Overall, 39 embryos (50.6%) were normal, 14 embryos (18.2%) were completely abnormal, and 24 embryos (31.2%) were mosaic. Of the 226 blastomeres analyzed in the mosaic group, 110 blastomeres (48.7%) were normal. Conclusion(s): The observed rate of mosaicism in good-quality rhesus embryos resembles previously documented frequencies in poor-quality human preimplantation embryos. A high incidence of mosaicism may limit the diagnostic accuracy of preimplantation genetic diagnosis. © 2010 American Society for Reproductive Medicine.


Hernandez-Pacheco R.,University of Puerto Rico at San Juan | Rawlins R.G.,Rush University Medical Center | Kessler M.J.,West Virginia University | Williams L.E.,University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center | And 4 more authors.
American Journal of Primatology | Year: 2013

Density-dependence is hypothesized as the major mechanism of population regulation. However, the lack of long-term demographic data has hampered the use of density-dependent models in nonhuman primates. In this study, we make use of the long-term demographic data from Cayo Santiago's rhesus macaques to parameterize and analyze both a density-independent and a density-dependent population matrix model, and compare their projections with the observed population changes. We also employ a retrospective analysis to determine how variance in vital rates, and covariance among them, contributed to the observed variation in long-term fitness across different levels of population density. The population exhibited negative density-dependence in fertility and the model incorporating this relationship accounted for 98% of the observed population dynamics. Variation in survival and fertility of sexually active individuals contributed the most to the variation in long-term fitness, while vital rates displaying high temporal variability exhibited lower sensitivities. Our findings are novel in describing density-dependent dynamics in a provisioned primate population, and in suggesting that selection is acting to lower the variance in the population growth rate by minimizing the variation in adult survival at high density. Because density-dependent mechanisms may become stronger in wild primate populations due to increasing habitat loss and food scarcity, our study demonstrates that it is important to incorporate variation in population size, as well as demographic variability into population viability analyses for a better understanding of the mechanisms regulating the growth of primate populations. Am. J. Primatol. 75:1152-1164, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Kulik L.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Kulik L.,University of Leipzig | Muniz L.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | Mundry R.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2012

In group living animals, especially among primates, there is consistent evidence that high-ranking males gain a higher reproductive output than low-ranking males. Primate studies have shown that male coalitions and sociality can impact male fitness; however, it remains unclear whether males could potentially increase their fitness by preferentially supporting and socializing with females. Here we investigate patterns of male interventions and the effect of coalitions and sociality on male fitness in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with particular focus on male-female interactions. We combined behavioural observations collected on Cayo Santiago with genetic data analysed for male reproductive output and relatedness. Our results revealed that the ten top-ranking males provided the majority of all male support observed. In contrast to other primates, male rhesus macaques mainly formed all-down coalitions suggesting that coalitions are less likely used to enhance male dominance. Males supporting females during and before their likely conception were not more likely to fertilize those females. We also found no evidence that males preferably support their offspring or other close kin. Interestingly, the most important predictor of male support was sociality, since opponents sharing a higher sociality index with a given male were more likely to be supported. Furthermore, a high sociality index of a given male-female dyad resulted in a higher probability of paternity. Overall, our results strengthen the evidence that sociality affects fitness in male primates, but also suggest that in species in which males queue for dominance, it is less likely that males derive fitness benefits from coalitions. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


PubMed | Caribbean Primate Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The veterinary clinics of North America. Exotic animal practice | Year: 2011

A zoonotic disease is transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. This article focuses on pertinent zoonotic diseases that have to be taken into consideration when working with nonhuman primate (NHP) species. Many factors may influence the occurrence of these diseases. Human and NHPs share many similarities, not only anatomically but also physiologically. NHP are valuable models for many human infectious diseases; therefore, staff can be exposed to many potential pathogens. In general, the disease state of a primate can range from asymptomatic carrier to death from infection.


PubMed | University of Kentucky, Caribbean Primate Research Center and University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of clinical periodontology | Year: 2016

Cellular and molecular immunoinflammatory changes in gingival tissues drive alveolar bone loss in periodontitis. Since ageing is a risk factor for periodontitis, we sought to identify age-related gingival transcriptome changes associated with bone metabolism in both healthy and in naturally occurring periodontitis.Adult (12-16years) and aged (18-23years) non-human primates (M. mulatta) (n=24) were grouped into healthy and periodontitis. Gingival tissue samples were obtained and subjected to microarray analysis using the Gene Chip Macaque Genome Array. Gene expression profiles involved in osteoclast/osteoblast proliferation, adhesion and function were evaluated and compared across and between the age groups. QPCR was also performed on selected genes to validate microarray data.Healthy aged tissues showed a gene profile expression that suggest enhancement of osteoclastic adhesion, proliferation/survival and function (SPP1, TLR4, MMP8 and TFEC) and impaired osteoblastic activity (SMEK3P and SMAD5). The gingival transcriptome in both adult and aged animals with naturally occurring periodontitis (FOS, IL6, TLR4, MMP9, MMP10 and SPP1 genes) was consistent with a local inflammatory response driving towards bone/connective tissue destruction.A pro-osteoclastogenic gingival transcriptome is associated with periodontitis irrespective of age; however; a greater bone-destructive molecular environment is associated with ageing in healthy tissues.


PubMed | University of Kentucky, Caribbean Primate Research Center and University of Puerto Rico at San Juan
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of periodontal research | Year: 2016

Young/adolescent humans harbor many microorganisms associated with periodontal disease in adults and show substantial gingival inflammatory responses. However, younger individuals do not demonstrate the soft- and hard-tissue destruction that hallmark periodontitis.This study evaluated responses to the oral microbial ecology in gingival tissues from clinically healthy young Macaca mulatta (<3years of age) compared with older animals (5-23 years of age). RNA was isolated from the tissues and analyzed for the transcriptome using the Rhesus Macaque GeneChip (Affymetrix).Global transcriptional profiling of four age groups revealed a subset of 159 genes that were differentially expressed across at least one of the age comparisons. Correlation metrics generated a relevance network abstraction of these genes. Partitioning of the relevance network revealed seven distinct communities comprising functionally related genes associated with host inflammatory and immune responses. A group of genes was identified that were selectively increased/decreased or positively/negatively correlated with gingival profiles in the animals. A principal components analysis created metagenes of expression profiles for classifying the 23 animals.The results provide novel system-level insights into gene-expression differences in gingival tissues from healthy young animals, weighted toward host responses associated with anti-inflammatory biomolecules or those linked with T-cell regulation of responses. The combination of the regulated microenvironment may help to explain the apparent resistance of younger individuals to developing periodontal disease.

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