Action for Primates

Long-tailed macaques, photo by Sarah Kite
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Experiments Using Non-human Primates, Published in 2021

In our news or take action pages, we report on the types of research to which non-human primates are being subjected. Bear in mind that these reports comprise only a few of the dozens of similar experiments published each week. See elsewhere for examples from previous years.

For the current year, choose Resources > Research on non-human primates from the main menu.

Although we emphasise welfare issues with respect to how the research impacted on the individuals, please bear in mind that the non-human primates used were all essentially wild animals, even if bred in captivity. Because of this, the suffering and stress of being in captivity was inherent in every case.

You can find out more information on all grants made by the National Institutes of Health, the largest funding entity in the US, and all their agencies by using the NIH RePORTER. You can search by grant number, investigator, recipient institution and more (see instructions).

2021-12-01: "Gut microbiome and metabolome in a non-human primate model of chronic excessive alcohol drinking" Piacentino, Daria; Grant-Beurmann, Silvia; Vizioli, Carlotta; Li, Xiaobai; Moore, Catherine F.; Ruiz-Rodado, Victor; Lee, Mary R.; Joseph, Paule V.; Fraser, Claire M.; Weerts, Elise M. and Leggio, Lorenzo Translational Psychiatry 11(1):609

This research at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Maryland, USA, involved using baboons as "models" in an attempt to simulate chronic heavy and binge drinking in people, defined as drinking too much, too fast, and too often. The protocol was approved by the Johns Hopkins University Animal Care and Use Committee, and funding was essentially entirely through public funds from the National Institutes of Health and branches (NCI, NIAAA, NIDA). The stated aim of the research was to look at the changes in the faecal microbiome and metabolome that occur after long-term excessive drinking and forced abstinence. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-11-01: Grant, K.A.; Newman, N.; Gonzales, S. and Shnitko, T.A. "Replicability in measures of attentional set-shifting task performance predicting chronic heavy drinking in rhesus monkeys" Alcohol 96:93-98

See elsewhere for more information.

2021-10-15: "Functional networks in non-human primate spinal cord and the effects of injury" Sengupta, Anirban; Mishra, Arabinda; Wang, Feng; Li, Muwei; Yang, Pai-Feng; Chen, Li Min and Gore, John C. NeuroImage 240:118391.

Squirrel monkeys were deliberately injured in an experiment looking at the effects of cervical spinal cord injury and the control of skilled hand use. This recently published research took place at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, US, and was supported entirely by public funds (NIH and US Department of Defense). It was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at Vanderbilt University. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-10-01: "Effects of buprenorphine/lorcaserin mixtures on preference for heroin, cocaine, or saline over food using a concurrent choice procedure in rhesus monkeys" Gerak, Lisa R. and France, Charles P. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 227:108991

Rhesus macaques were forced to consume cocaine and heroin in an attempt to study the effects of a potential drug treatment for substance abuse in people. The work was done at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the monkeys were maintained in accordance with the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the 2011 Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. It was funded publicly through grant R21 DA046805 ($419,375 US) from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and privately through grant AQ-0039 from the Welch Foundation. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-09-01: "Negative allosteric modulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 attenuates alcohol self-administration in baboons" Salling, Michael C.; Grassetti, Alexander; Ferrera, Vincent P.; Martinez, Diana and Foltin, Richard W. Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior 208:173227.

In this experiment, baboons were forced to become 'alcoholics' using sweetened vodka, in order to test the effects of a drug on their drinking. The work was done at New York State Psychiatric Institute (part of Columbia University) and …approved by the New York State Psychiatric Institute Animal Care and Use Committee. It was funded by public funds through National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) grant AA023879 and privately through the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-09-01: "Ketamine treatment upon memory retrieval reduces fear memory in marmoset monkeys" Philippens, Ingrid H.C.H.M.; Draaisma, Laurijn; Baarends, Guus; Krugers, Harm J. and Vermetten, Eric. European Neuropsychopharmacology 50:1-11.

In this publicly funded research, common marmosets were subjected to inescapable electric shocks to their feet in an experiment to study post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in people. The work was done at the Biomedical Primate Research Centre (BPRC), Rijswijk, in the Netherlands, and funded by the European Framework Program 7. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-08-20: Lewis, Sloan A.; Sureshchandra, Suhas; Doratt, Brianna; Jimenez, Vanessa A.; Stull, Cara; Grant, Kathleen A. and Messaoudi, Ilhem "Transcriptional, Epigenetic, and Functional Reprogramming of Monocytes From Non-Human Primates Following Chronic Alcohol Drinking" Frontiers in Immunology 12:724015

See elsewhere for more information.

2021-07-15: Silasi, Robert; Keshari, Ravi S.; Regmi, Girija; Lupu, Cristina; Georgescu, Constantin; Simmons, Joe H.; Wallisch, Michael; Kohs, Tia C.L.; Shatzel, Joseph J.; Olson, Sven R.; Lorentz, Christina U.; Puy, Cristina; Tucker, Erik I.; Gailani, David; Strickland, Sidney; Gruber, András; McCarty, Owen J.T. and Lupu, Florea "Factor XII plays a pathogenic role in organ failure and death in baboons challenged with Staphylococcus aureus" Blood 138(2):178-189

Eight baboons were lethally infected with staphylococcus bacteria and allowed to suffer substantially in this experiment which was done at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Texas, USA. The work was approved by the facility's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and funded entirely by US taxpayer funds through grants from various branches of the National Institutes of Health. The total amount of the awards to the authors are in the many millions of US dollars. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-07-01: "Proof of concept efficacy study of intranasal stabilized isoamyl nitrite (SIAN) in rhesus monkeys against acute cyanide poisoning" Zhong, Yifei; Raulli, Robert E.; Abtout, Samir; Authier, Simon; Ascah, Alexis; Lambert, Daniel; Gutierrez, Gloria; Cantú, Norma L.; Gutierrez, Nadean; Cabell, Larry; McDonough, Joe; Cakouros, Kelly C.; Gurman, Pablo; Savransky, Vladimir and Barry, John. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 123:104927.

NOTE WELL: as a result of a formal complaint by Action for Primates:

This article has been retracted: please see Elsevier Policy on Article Withdrawal (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/withdrawalpolicy)

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editors-in-Chief as the authors were unable to provide documentation of approval for the interinstitutional assurance /vertebrate animal section of the paper by the relevant authority, Public Health Service (PHS) Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) in the time that was provided.

The work was carried out at Charles River in Canada, but involved researchers from Southwest Research Institute in Texas, Emergent BioSolutions in Maryland and the US Department of Health and Human Services. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-06-29: "Preferences for nutrients and sensory food qualities identify biological sources of economic values in monkeys" Huang, Fei-Yang; Sutcliffe, Michael P.F. and Grabenhorst, Fabian. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118(26):e2101954118.

Three rhesus macaques, referred to simply as Ya, V and Ym or 77, 80 and 81, were used by researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK to develop a model for studying food-reward mechanisms to better understand human eating behavior and obesity. The researchers claimed that the experiment was ethically reviewed and provided a long list of all the regulations and guidelines they followed. Notably, many of the cited entities expect researchers to comply with the 3Rs of research, the most important of which is Replacement. This research was funded in whole or in part by the Wellcome Trust. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-06-18: "Quantifying anhedonia-like symptoms in marmosets using appetitive Pavlovian conditioning" Alexander, Laith; Banai-Tizkar, Rana; Wood, Christian M. and Roberts, Angela C. Structured, Transparent, Accessible, Reproducible Protocols 2(2):100454.

Cambridge University has developed a protocol that causes considerable harm to common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) and is promoting this widely in the scientific community by publishing this 'how to' paper. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-06-11: "Successful experimental infant baboon model for childhood cryptosporidiosis studies" Jillani, Ngalla E.; Nyachieo, Atunga; Chai, Daniel C. and Nyariki, James Nyabuga. Parasites & Vectors 14(1):316.

In a shocking disregard for the lives of non-human primates indigenous to Kenya, researchers killed 18 infant baboons aged between 12 and 16 months. The work was carried out at the Institute of Primate Research in Nairobi, Kenya, and approved by the Institute of Primate Research Scientific and Ethics Review Committee (ISERC) and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), for scientific soundness and animal welfare issues before commencement of the study (the Institute has since removed this document from their Web site). ISERC also claims to review projects based on Replacement, Refinement and Reduction (3Rs) principles as well as the five freedoms of animals' welfare. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-04-28: "An implanted vestibular prosthesis improves spatial orientation in animals with severe vestibular damage" Karmali, Faisal; Haburcakova, Csilla; Gong, Wangsong; Santina, Charles C. Della; Merfeld, Daniel M. and Lewis, Richard F. The Journal of Neuroscience 41(17):3879-3888.

The work was done at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, Massachusetts (a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School), and was approved by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Animal Care and Use Committee. It was publicly funded with NIH (NIDCD) grants and privately with a grant from MED EL Corp, a company that produces cochlear implants for hearing issues. Rhesus macaques were subjected to an appalling ordeal lasting many months during research to deliberately damage the part of their ear involved in balance. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-04-10: "Effect of chronic binge-like ethanol consumption on subsequent cocaine reinforcement in rhesus monkeys" Tryhus, Aaron M.; Epperly, Phillip M.; Davenport, April T.; Galbo, Lindsey K. and Czoty, Paul W. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 223:108707.

Twelve adult male rhesus macaques were used in this research carried out at Wake Forest School of Medicine, North Carolina, US, which was approved by the Animal Care and Use Committee of Wake Forest University and funded entirely with public funds via National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA; a branch of the NIH) grant DA039953. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-04-08: "Economic choice between remifentanil and food in squirrel monkeys" Brown, Samantha O.; Effinger, Devin P.; Montoro, Rodrigo A.; Daddaoua, Nabil; Justinova, Zuzana; Moerke, Megan J.; Schindler, Charles W.; Jedema, Hank P. and Bradberry, Charles W. Neuropsychopharmacology.

This experiment was one more in a never-ending attempt to use non-human primates as surrogates for human drug addiction. In this case, it was done in the hopes of developing a squirrel monkey 'model' of economic choice in an attempt to understand drug reinforcement, searching for improved addiction therapies for humans. This work was done at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA, a branch of the NIH), Baltimore, Maryland, and funded entirely by public funds through NIDA. It was approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee of the NIDA Intramural Research Program. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-04-01: "Effects of daily Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) alone or combined with cannabidiol (CBD) on cognition-based behavior and activity in adolescent nonhuman primates" Withey, Sarah L.; Kangas, Brian D.; Charles, Sophia; Gumbert, Andrew B.; Eisold, Jessica E.; George, Susan R.; Bergman, Jack and Madras, Bertha K. Drug and Alcohol Dependence 221:108629.

The daily use of marijuana is apparently rising in human adolescents, along with the use of high potency marijuana products such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This research subjected black-capped squirrel monkeys to daily injections of cannabis for four months in an attempt to 'understand' the long-term effects of the daily consumption of a high dose of THC in adolescents and whether a therapeutic dose of cannabidiol (CBD) has a modifying effect on the THC. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-03-17: "Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation restores altered functional connectivity of central poststroke pain model monkeys" Kadono, Yoshinori; Koguchi, Keigo; Okada, Ken-ichi; Hosomi, Koichi; Hiraishi, Motoki; Ueguchi, Takashi; Kida, Ikuhiro; Shah, Adnan; Liu, Guoxiang and Saitoh, Youichi. Scientific Reports 11(1):6126.

This experiment carried out on Japanese macaques at Osaka University in Japan, involved using the monkeys as a 'model' for central poststroke pain, which is caused by damage to the brain. The monkeys were deliberately subjected to pain and then the researchers tracked changes in the animals' pain threshold using a behavioural experiment and tracking anatomical and functional changes in the brain by using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). See elsewhere for more information.

2021-02-16: "Characterization of Inflammatory and Fibrotic Aspects of Tissue Remodeling of Acellular Dermal Matrix in a Nonhuman Primate Model" Ji, HaYeun; Sukarto, Abby; Deegan, Daniel and Fan, Frank. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Global Open 9(2):e3420.

African green monkeys have lived freely on St Kitts for hundreds of years. Tragically, many of them are exported every year for research primarily to the USA, including individuals captured in the wild. Others are used in research on St Kitts itself. This research took place at the Behavioral Sciences Foundation. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-02-16: "T Cells Actively Infiltrate the White Matter of the Aging Monkey Brain in Relation to Increased Microglial Reactivity and Cognitive Decline" Batterman, Katelyn V.; Cabrera, Payton E.; Moore, Tara L. and Rosene, Douglas L. Frontiers in Immunology 12:607691.

Thirty-four rhesus macaques were used and killed in this recently published research carried out at Boston University School of Medicine in the US. Not only was it approved by their …Institutional Animal Use and Care Committee (IACUC)…, it was funded entirely by public funds through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). See elsewhere for more information.

2021-02-15: "Long-Term Cocaine Self-administration Produces Structural Brain Changes That Correlate With Altered Cognition" Jedema, Hank P.; Song, Xiaowei; Aizenstein, Howard J.; Bonner, Alexandra R.; Stein, Elliot A.; Yang, Yihong and Bradberry, Charles W. Biological Psychiatry 89(4):376-385.

Rhesus macaques were forced to become cocaine addicts for a year and then subjected to two years of forced withdrawal, while changes in the brain were analysed in an attempt to understand what happens to people. This research was done at the University of Pittsburgh. It was "approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee at the University of Pittsburgh" and funded entirely with public funds through the National Institutes of Health. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-01-19: "Recruitment of upper-limb motoneurons with epidural electrical stimulation of the cervical spinal cord" Greiner, Nathan; Barra, Beatrice; Schiavone, Giuseppe; Lorach, Henri; James, Nicholas; Conti, Sara; Kaeser, Melanie; Fallegger, Florian; Borgognon, Simon; Lacour, Stéphanie; Bloch, Jocelyne; Courtine, Grégoire and Capogrosso, Marco. Nature Communications 12(1):435.

The research was carried out at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland (1). Funding was from several sources, including the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, and the research was approved by the local veterinary authorities of the Canton of Fribourg. The researchers declared the following Competing interests: three were shareholders and founders of GTX medical, a company producing spinal cord stimulation technologies and who provided part of the research funding, and five were inventors of multiple patent applications and had been granted patents covering parts of this work. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-01-06: "Comparison of MR-PWI quantitative and semi-quantitative parameters for the evaluation of liver fibrosis" Ding, Ke; Liu, Manrong; Wei, Xue; Huang, Ruisui; Chen, Jiong; Lu, Shanjin; Wang, Dacheng and Lu, Wei. BMC Medical Imaging 21(1):8.

Thirty male long-tailed macaques were used in this research carried out to evaluate the different stages of liver fibrosis (scarring of liver tissue) in long-tailed macaques. Eight of these individuals died before the study was completed. The work was done at The Third Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University in China, approved by the medical ethics committee and experimental animal ethics committee, and funded by various sources within China. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-01-04: "Chronic unpredictable mild stress produces depressive-like behavior, hypercortisolemia, and metabolic dysfunction in adolescent cynomolgus monkeys" Teng, Teng; Shively, Carol A.; Li, Xuemei; Jiang, Xiaofeng; Neigh, Gretchen N.; Yin, Bangmin; Zhang, Yuqing; Fan, Li; Xiang, Yajie; Wang, Mingyang; Liu, Xueer; Qin, Mengchang; Zhou, Xinyu and Xie, Peng. Translational Psychiatry 11(1):9.

Young monkeys were deliberately subjected to extremely cruel and barbaric treatment in an attempt to simulate human teenage depression. Although this recently published research was done at Chongqing Medical University in China and supported mostly with Chinese funding, there are two US authors, one from Wake Forest School of Medicine and another from Virginia Commonwealth University. The work was approved by the Ethics Committee of Chongqing Medical University, but there is no mention of any oversight or decisions by ethics committees at either of the US facilities. The latter is disturbing in and of itself. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-01-04: White, Andrew D.; Sibley, Laura; Sarfas, Charlotte; Morrison, Alexandra; Gullick, Jennie; Clark, Simon; Gleeson, Fergus; McIntyre, Anthony; Arlehamn, Cecilia Lindestam; Sette, Alessandro; Salguero, Francisco J.; Rayner, Emma; Rodriguez, Esteban; Puentes, Eugenia; Laddy, Dominick; Williams, Ann; Dennis, Mike; Martin, Carlos and Sharpe, Sally "MTBVAC vaccination protects rhesus macaques against aerosol challenge with M. tuberculosis and induces immune signatures analogous to those observed in clinical studies" NPJ Vaccines 6(1):4

See elsewhere for more information.

2021-01-01: "Visual responses in the dorsolateral frontal cortex of marmoset monkeys" Feizpour, Azadeh; Majka, Piotr; Chaplin, Tristan A.; Rowley, Declan; Yu, Hsin-Hao; Zavitz, Elizabeth; Price, Nicholas S.C.; Rosa, Marcello G.P. and Hagan, Maureen A. Journal of Neurophysiology 125(1):296-304.

Tragically for the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), researchers are looking to this species as a new non-human primate 'model' to be used in neurophysiology, for visual processing and behaviour. This research was carried out at Monash University, Australia, approved by the Monash Animal Research Platform Animal Ethics Committee and publicly funded by the Australian Research Council and by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. See elsewhere for more information.

2021-01-01: "Neuro-pharmacological reinstatement of ovulation and associated neurobiology in a macaque model of functional hypothalamic amenorrhoea" Bethea, Cynthia L. and Cameron, Judy L. Human Reproduction 36(1):175-188.

Long-tailed macaques were used to study the effects of stress on their reproductive function, in an attempt to simulate human female functional hypothalamic amenorrhoea (FHA). The human condition is a type of infertility – a sustained absence of normal menstrual cycles – linked to stress. The work was carried out at the University of Pittsburgh and approved by their Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee. It was supported entirely by public funds (NIH). See elsewhere for more information.

You can find out more information on all grants made by the National Institutes of Health, the largest funding entity in the US, and all their agencies by using the NIH RePORTER. You can search by grant number, investigator, recipient institution and more (see instructions).