Endometriosis in Rhesus Monkeys

1024px-Rhesus_Macaques

In the past, I’ve written about Endometriosis being found in two mandrillus sphinx,  a German Shephard and cynomolgus monkeys.  I know when I think of Endometriosis, I often simply think of it as a women’s disease…but have to remind myself that men can get it, as well as animals.  A study hit my inbox this morning about monkeys, rhesus macaques, developing Endometriosis.

The 2017 study published in Primate Biology discusses rhesus macaques (aka rhesus monkeys) that were housed at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre in the Netherlands and the New England Primate Research Center in the United States.  Not only did the study discuss the spontaneous development of Endometriosis in these creatures, but it focused on the genetic similarities between humans and these monkeys in the hopes of continuing the studies of finding genetic links to the illness.

Eight monkeys from the Biomedical Primate Research Centre had Endometriosis.  Their ages ranged from 12 to 21 years of age; none had prior surgeries.  Seventeen monkeys from the New England Primate Research Center had Endometriosis, and they ranged from 12 to 20 years old.  Four of those 17 had previously delivered offspring via cesarean sections.

In both facilities, the monkeys were housed in large social groups in the hopes of “mimicking the natural ecology” of uncaptive life. They were fed monkey chow, fruits, vegetables and grains.   And, as a matter of procedure, anytime an animal passed away (either naturally or by euthanasia), an autopsy was performed.  Tissues were flash frozen and set aside.  The study reviews those detailed medical and histology records of each monkey, as well as any preserved tissue samples.  Almost all of the monkeys were of Indian origin, with the exception of a few mixed breeds and one with Burmese descent.

Many of the monkeys who were posthumously diagnosed with Endometriosis had previously exhibited the usual signs and symptoms: bloating, pain, painful periods, or “cystic lesions” detected via ultrasound.  Every time I read of an animal with the disease, it breaks my heart; we, at least, can express our pain.  They cannot.

The DNA and genetic analysis of the study goes waaaaaay over my head…so I’m not even going to try to summarize it for you.   It did clearly mention; however, that it may result in an altered immune response, which may affect Endometriosis.  But you can read it for yourself via the link in the Resources section below.

As usual, more studies are needed!  And that’s the hope: to spawn one that may lead to a better understanding of the cause of Endometriosis.

Resources:

Primate Biology (Article, June 2017) – Spontaneous Endometriosis in Rhesus Macaques: Evidence for a Genetic Association with Specific Mamu-A1 Alleles

Primate Info Net

~ Again, I am a layman.  I do not hold any college degrees, nor mastery of knowledge.  Please take what I say with a grain of salt.  If curious, do your own research 😉 Validate my writings.  Or challenge them.  And ALWAYS feel free to consult with your physician. Always.  Yours ~ Lisa

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