Perspectives on the use of the baboon in embryology and teratology research

Andrew G Hendrickx, P. E. Peterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This paper summarizes the developmental stages of the baboon during the period of organ formation and provides comparative information for other primates, including the human. Special attention is directed to the early development of the nervous system, eye, ear and nose/palate. The similarity in development of these structures with humans indicates that the baboon is a suitable model for studies of normal and abnormal neurological development. Spontaneous prenatal loss rates in the baboon (2.4-11.2%) are slightly lower than those reported in rhesus and cynomologus monkeys. The baboon, in addition to the cynomologus monkey and macaque, has been used as a model in teratology research to assess the potential risk of thalidomide, sex steroids. Bendectin and rubella virus, as well as to study the pathogenesis of malformations associated with the corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide. The rate of spontaneous malformations (< 1%) in baboons, similar to that reported for other commonly used primates, supports their continued use as a teratological model. In this regard, a sample protocol is provided for the safety evaluation of biotechnology products using nonhuman primates, which are the most appropriate model for those compounds which are bioactive in species closely related to humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-592
Number of pages18
JournalHuman Reproduction Update
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Baboon
  • Embryology
  • Neurological development
  • Organ formation
  • Teratology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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