Characterization of the onset of menopause in the rhesus macaque

Kirsten V K Gilardi, Susan E. Shideler, Celia R. Valverde, Jeffrey A. Roberts, Bill L. Lasley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

149 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to assess ovarian activity in a cohort of aged female rhesus macaques. Menstrual records for 26 rhesus macaques ages 20-29 yr were evaluated over a 1-yr period, and daily urinary estrone conjugate (E1C) and pregnanediol-3-glucuronide (Hygeia [Hy]-PdG) levels were determined for 12 wk. Each animal was categorized as either pre-, peri-, or postmenopausal based on menstrual and hormonal data. Eleven animals (mean age 22.5 yr) were premenopausal, thirteen (mean age 24 yr) were perimenopausal, and two (mean age 29.5 yr) were postmenopausal. Hormone profiles for perimenopausal animals reveal prolonged follicular phases and/or a lack of patterned Hy-PdG dynamics. Breakthrough bleeding occurred in four of these perimenopausal animals. The postmenopausal animals were amenorrheic and exhibited low E1C levels (less than 10 ng/mg creatinine). The results of this study illustrate that the decline of ovarian function in female macaques during the third decade of life parallels the menstrual and hormonal events associated with the climacteric in women, and that menopause does occur in rhesus macaques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-340
Number of pages6
JournalBiology of Reproduction
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Embryology


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