Studies of marginal zinc deprivation in rhesus monkeys: II. Pregnancy outcome

M. S. Golub, M. E. Gershwin, L. S. Hurley, D. L. Baly, A. G. Hendrickx

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58 Scopus citations


A marginal state of zinc deficiency was induced in the pregnant nonhuman primate, Macaca mulatta, by feeding a diet containing 4 ppm zinc beginning at conception. Pregnancy outcome of marginally zinc-deficient monkeys (ZD) was compared to both pair-fed (PF) and ad libitum fed (AL) control animals (100 ppm zinc). Stillbirths, abortions, and delivery complications were more frequent in both ZD and PF dams than in AL controls; no malformations were detected (maternal plasma zinc was normal during organogenesis), Male ZD neonates weighed significantly less than same sex controls; also, in relation to colony norms, 7/8 ZD males, 2/8 ZD females, and 1/10 PF controls were of low birth weight. Further, plasma zinc and iron levels were lower in ZD neonates than in AL and PF controls. ZD neonates also had reduced muscle tonus. Birth weight and maternal plasma zinc concentration were negatively correlated in ZD group but positively correlated in AL and PF groups. Indeed, maternal plasma zinc concentration alone did not identify a state of zinc deficiency which impaired fetal growth in monkeys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)879-887
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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