Infant mortality: The role of the macaque as a model for human disease

Andrew G Hendrickx, Alice F Tarantal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Factors which have been identified as the leading causes of infant mortality include birth defects, hemoglobinopathies, prematurity, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In order to further our understanding of the specific causes of infant mortality and the mechanisms by which they occur, suitable animal models will be required. Studies with nonhuman primates (specifically the macaque) have addressed malformation/functional deficit syndromes such as those associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), nutritional deficiencies, and retinoid teratogenicity. These studies have provided critical information for further basic and preventive research. In addition, efforts to evaluate the safety of diagnostic ultrasound continue to aid in identifying safe methods for exposure. From a prenatal perspective, cellular transplantation has been shown to be a feasible method for treating individuals with inherited defects in utero, thereby avoiding postnatal transplantation and the associated risks. Longterm complications of prematurity have also been pursued with growth factors (i.e., epidermal growth factor) noted to play an important role in both pre‐ and postnatal development of the gastrointestinal tract and lung. As one of the most distressing causes of death in infancy, SIDS will require a concentrated effort to understand the basic mechanism(s) responsible for the characteristic respiratory complications. The nonhuman primate will continue to provide critical information as the model of choice for the human in determining the causes, mechanisms, and treatments for these significant causes of infant death. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1994


  • birth defects
  • cellular transplantation
  • functional deficits
  • infant mortality
  • macaques
  • prematurity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


Dive into the research topics of 'Infant mortality: The role of the macaque as a model for human disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this