Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Blood analysis of laboratory Macaca mulatta used for neuroscience research : investigation of long-term and cumulative effects of implants, fluid control, and laboratory procedures

The nonhuman primate (NHP) constitutes an extraordinarily important model in neuroscience research for understanding the neuronal underpinnings of perceptual, motor, cognitive, and executive functions of the primate brain, and to study the physiological causes, effects, and potential treatments of brain disorders. Because of their cognitive capabilities, NHPs receive special attention in animal welfare regulations around the world, and their well-being is a benchmark for the evaluation, monitoring, and refinement of experimental procedures. As a consequence, many typical neuroscientific procedures are considered only mildly severe by animal welfare boards. There is, however, an ongoing debate about possible long-term and cumulative effects. Because of a lack of longitudinal data, it is unclear whether mildly severe procedures may cause more significant harm on the long-term, and to what extent they may impact animal well-being and healthiness over time. We here make use of a database of blood samples drawn over a period of 15 years from 39 rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to address the issue of long-term, cumulative effects of neuroscientific procedures. A careful analysis of indicative primate blood markers for chronic inflammation, hydration status, and stress levels, their comparison to baseline values from both the same animals and the literature, and evaluation of additional hematologic, physiological, and behavioral parameters did not provide support for the notion of long-term, cumulative effects on the monkeys' healthiness and well-being. The results may serve the community as a reference for the severity assessment of neuroscientific experiments involving NHPs.


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