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St. Kitts, Saint Kitts and Nevis

Turner T.R.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Cramer J.D.,Charles University | Nisbett A.,St Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation | Patrick Gray J.,University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

Weight and 34 morphological measurements were obtained from 103 vervet monkeys living either in the wild or in captive colonies derived from the wild populations on the island of St. Kitts in the Eastern Caribbean. All measures were taken during the same week, eliminating bias that might result from changing seasonal environmental conditions. Vervets on St. Kitts are all descended from a small number of individuals brought to the island approximately 400 years ago from West Africa, thus eliminating bias that might result from subspecific size differences. We conducted a principal components analysis (PCA) and compared individual traits between captive and wild adult animals. Morphological measures such as body, arm, and leg length did not differ significantly between animals living in the wild and animals in captivity. Weight and measures indicating condition-including body mass index (BMI), chest, thigh, and upper arm girth were all higher for animals living in captivity. More consistent available food is probably the cause of differences in measures reflecting condition. © 2016 Japan Monkey Centre and Springer Japan Source

McEntire C.R.S.,Yale University | Choudhury G.R.,Southwest Research Institute | Torres A.,Southwest Research Institute | Steinberg G.K.,Stanford University | And 3 more authors.

Background and Purpose-Ischemic stroke is the leading cause of upper extremity motor impairments. Although several well-characterized experimental stroke models exist, modeling of upper extremity motor impairments, which are unique to primates, is not well established. Cortical representation of dexterous movements in nonhuman primates is functionally and topographically similar to that in humans. In this study, we characterize the African green monkey model of focal ischemia reperfusion with a defined syndrome, impaired dexterous movements. Methods-Cerebral ischemia was induced by transient occlusion of the M3 segment of the left middle cerebral artery. Motor and cognitive functions after stroke were evaluated using the object retrieval task with barrier-detour. Postmortem magnetic resonance imaging and histopathology were performed to map and characterize the infarct. Results-The middle cerebral artery occlusion consistently produced a necrotic infarct localized in the sensorimotor cortex in the middle cerebral artery territory. The infarction was reproducible and resulted in significant loss of fine motor function characterized by impaired dexterity. No significant cognitive impairment was detected. Magnetic resonance imaging and histopathology demonstrated consistent and significant loss of tissue on the left parietal cortex by the central sulcus covering the sensorimotor area. The results suggest that this species has less collateralization, which closely resembles humans. Conclusions-The reported nonhuman primate model produces a defined and reproducible syndrome relevant to our understanding of ischemic stroke, cortical representation, and sensorimotor integration controlling dexterous movements. This model will be useful in basic and translational research addressing loss of arm function and dexterity. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc. Source

Hurley P.J.,Yale University | Elsworth J.D.,Yale University | Whittaker M.C.,St Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation | Roth R.H.,Yale University | Redmond Jr. D.E.,Yale University
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior

Parkinson's Disease (PD) and the natural aging process share a number of biochemical mechanisms, including reduced function of dopaminergic systems. The present study aims to determine the extent that motor and behavioral changes in aged monkeys resemble parkinsonism induced by the neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine. The behavioral and physiological changes in PD are believed to result largely from selective depletion of dopamine in the nigrostriatal system. In the present study, ten aged female monkeys were compared with three groups: 9 untreated young adult female monkeys, 10 young adult male monkeys and 13 older male monkeys that had been exposed to MPTP. Trained observers, blind as to age and drug condition and without knowledge of the hypotheses, scored the monkeys using the Parkinson's factor score (Parkscore), which has been validated by a high correlation with post mortem striatal dopamine (DA) concentrations. The aged animals had higher scores on the Parkscore compared with the young adults, with most of its component behavioral items showing significance (tremor, Eating Problems, Delayed initiation of movement, and Poverty of Movement). l-Dopa and DA-agonists did not clearly reverse the principal measure of parkinsonism. DA concentrations post mortem were 63% lower in 3 aged monkeys in the ventral putamen compared with 4 young adults, with greater reductions in putamen than in caudate (45%). We conclude that aged monkeys, unexposed to MPTP, show a similar profile of parkinsonism to that seen after the neurotoxin exposure to MPTP in young adult monkeys. The pattern of greater DA depletion in putamen than in caudate in aged monkeys is the same as in human Parkinson's disease and contrasts with the greater depletion in caudate seen after MPTP. Aged monkeys of this species reflect many facets of Parkinson's disease, but like older humans do not improve with standard dopamine replacement pharmacotherapies. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

Demartelly V.,University of Illinois at Chicago | Hurley P.,St Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation | Lawrence M.,Rxgen, Inc. | Redmond D.E.,Yale University | Rutherford J.,University of Illinois at Chicago
Journal of Medical Primatology

Background Focus on the placenta as an agent of fetal development and offspring health outcomes is growing. Primate research facilities or zoos may collect and fix placental tissue for long-term storage, but little is known about the effects of formalin fixation on the non-human primate placenta. Methods We obtained 48 vervet monkey placentas from the St. Kitts Biomedical Research Foundation. We investigated via correlation coefficients and ANOVAs the effects of gestational age and original fresh weight on weight change due to fixation. We also used linear regression models to determine whether fixed tissue weight was predictive of fresh weight and gestational age. Results Although the vervet monkey placenta is described as bidiscoid, 14.6% of the placentas in this sample were fused into a single mass. A decrease in weight was the most common response to formalin fixation, with the greatest degree of loss experienced by the heaviest placentas (ANOVA, F=5.99, P=0.005). Gestational age was unrelated to weight change. Those placentas that increased in weight had the lowest fresh weights. Fixed weights significantly predicted both fresh weight and gestational age (r2=0.78, P<0.00001; r2=0.76, P<0.00001, respectively). Conclusions This paper adds to a sparse literature on the vervet monkey placenta. That fixed placentas are excellent predictors of both fresh weight and gestational age suggests that banked tissue may be a valuable resource for reconstructing aspects of individual life history, although caution must be exercised given the variability of weight change as a function of original placental size. © 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Source

Warren W.C.,University of Washington | Jasinska A.J.,University of California at Los Angeles | Jasinska A.J.,Polish Academy of Sciences | Garcia-Perez R.,Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies | And 56 more authors.
Genome Research

We describe a genome reference of the African green monkey or vervet (Chlorocebus æthiops). This member of the Old World monkey (OWM) superfamily is uniquely valuable for genetic investigations of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), for which it is the most abundant natural host species, and of a wide range of health-related phenotypes assessed in Caribbean vervets (C. a. sabæus), whose numbers have expanded dramatically since Europeans introduced small numbers of their ancestors fromWest Africa during the colonial era. Weuse the reference to characterize the genomic relationship between vervets and other primates, the intra-generic phylogeny of vervet subspecies, and genome-wide structural variations of a pedigreed C. a. sabæus population. Through comparative analyses withhuman and rhesus macaque,wecharacterize at high resolution the unique chromosomal fission events that differentiate the vervets and their close relatives frommost other catarrhine primates, in whom karyotype is highly conserved. We also provide a summary of transposable elements and contrast these with the rhesus macaque and human. Analysis of sequenced genomes representing each of the main vervet subspecies supports previously hypothesized relationships between these populations, which range across most of sub-Saharan Africa, while uncovering high levels of genetic diversity within each. Sequence-based analyses of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) polymorphisms reveal extremely low diversity in Caribbean C. a. sabæus vervets, comparedto vervets fromputatively ancestral West African regions. In the C. a. sabæus research population, we discover the first structural variations that are, in some cases, predicted to have a deleterious effect; future studies will determine the phenotypic impact of these variations. © 2015 Robin et al. Source

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