Monkey Development

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Monkey (cynomolgus)

The monkey is often used as a primate model for human development. Another historic model of primate development was the smaller tarsius[1]

Swapping mitochondrial DNA mammalian oocytes

Swapping mitochondrial DNA mammalian oocytes[2]

Links: Category:Monkey

Some Recent Findings

  • Nuclear-mitochondrial incompatibility in interorder rhesus monkey-cow embryos derived from somatic cell nuclear transfer[3] "Monkey interorder somatic cell nuclear transfer (iSCNT) using enucleated cow oocytes yielded poor blastocysts development and contradictory results among research groups. Determining the reason for this low blastocyst development is a prerequisite for optimizing iSCNT in rhesus monkeys. The aim of this study was to elucidate nuclear-mitochondrial incompatibility of rhesus monkey-cow iSCNT embryos and its relationship to low blastocyst development. ...Collectively, rhesus monkey iSCNT embryos reconstructed with cow oocytes have nuclear-mitochondrial incompatibility due to fundamental species differences between rhesus monkeys and cattle. Nuclear-mitochondrial incompatibility seems to correlate with low ETC activity and extremely low blastocyst development of rhesus monkey-cow iSCNT embryos."
  • Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) With Baboons Generate Live Offspring: A Nonhuman Primate Model for ART and Reproductive Sciences.[4] "Here, baboon ART protocols, including oocyte collection, in vitro fertilization (IVF), intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), preimplantation development to blastocyst stage, and embryo transfer techniques are described. With baboon ART methodologies in place, motility during baboon fertilization was investigated by time-lapse video microscopy (TLVM). The first ART baboons produced by ICSI, a pair of male twins, were delivered naturally at 165 days postgestation. Genetic testing of these twins confirmed their ART parental origins and demonstrated that they are unrelated fraternal twins not identicals."
  • Monkey thalidomide model[5] "Cynomolgus monkeys were orally administered thalidomide at 15 or 20mg/kg-d on days 26-28 of gestation, and fetuses were examined on day 100-102 of gestation. Limb defects such as micromelia/amelia, paw/foot hyperflexion, polydactyly, syndactyly, and brachydactyly were observed in seven of eight fetuses.' (More? Abnormal Development - Thalidomide)
More recent papers   
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Macaque Timeline

Macaque Placental Timeline
Day Event
9 OvuIn beginning contact. Endometrial proliferation to form epithelial plaque.
10 Invasion. Erosion of strorna, gland and vessels. Lacunae beginning. Transition of cytotrophoblast to syncytium.
12 Trabeculae and cascades of trophoblast cells. Mesoblast, yolk sac. Ovum walls collapsed, no sinusoids.
13 Sinusoids communicate with lacunae. Villi begin. Ovum walls dilated, abembryonic wall hypertrophies preparatory to formation of second implantation site.
15 Maternal epithelium reaches end of proliferative period.
17 Necrotic border zone. Blood in glands. Primitive body mesoderm.
19th Villi with three zones established, and branching. Pinocytosis (imbibing of liquid substances}.
22.5 Villi vascular. Oedema at junction zone.
Data from [6]

Historic Papers

Gatenby JB. Some notes on recent primate embryology. (1945) Irish J. Med. Sci. 177-187.

Ramsey EM. Corner GW. Jr. Donner MW. and Stran HM. Radioangiographic studies of circulation in the maternal placenta of the rhesus monkey: preliminary report. (1960) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 46(7): 1003-8 PMID 16590693

Carnegie Stages

Carnegie stages species comparison.jpg

Monkey Data - Hendrickx and Sawey Embryology of the rhesus monkey. The Rhesus Monkey, Bourne (ed), Academic Press, NY (1975)

Links: [[Carnegie Stages}}

Fetal Brain Development

Baboon- fetal brain.jpg

Mapping primary gyrogenesis during fetal development in primate brains: high-resolution in utero structural MRI of fetal brain development in pregnant baboons[7]

"The global and regional changes in the fetal cerebral cortex in primates were mapped during primary gyrification (PG; weeks 17-25 of 26 weeks total gestation). Studying pregnant baboons using high-resolution MRI in utero, measurements included cerebral volume, cortical surface area, gyrification index and length and depth of 10 primary cortical sulci. Seven normally developing fetuses were imaged in two animals longitudinally and sequentially. We compared these results to those on PG that from the ferret studies and analyzed them in the context of our recent studies of phylogenetics of cerebral gyrification. We observed that in both primates and non-primates, the cerebrum undergoes a very rapid transformation into the gyrencephalic state, subsequently accompanied by an accelerated growth in brain volume and cortical surface area. However, PG trends in baboons exhibited some critical differences from those observed in ferrets. For example, in baboons, the growth along the long (length) axis of cortical sulci was unrelated to the growth along the short (depth) axis and far outpaced it. Additionally, the correlation between the rate of growth along the short sulcal axis and heritability of sulcal depth was negative and approached significance (r = -0.60; p < 0.10), while the same trend for long axis was positive and not significant (p = 0.3; p = 0.40). These findings, in an animal that shares a highly orchestrated pattern of PG with humans, suggest that ontogenic processes that influence changes in sulcal length and depth are diverse and possibly driven by different factors in primates than in non-primates."

Thalidomide Model

Cynomolgus monkey

Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis, Cynomolgus Monkey, Philippine Monkey, Long-tailed Macaque)[5] "Cynomolgus monkeys were orally administered thalidomide at 15 or 20mg/kg-d on days 26-28 of gestation, and fetuses were examined on day 100-102 of gestation. Limb defects such as micromelia/amelia, paw/foot hyperflexion, polydactyly, syndactyly, and brachydactyly were observed in seven of eight fetuses."

Links: Abnormal Development - Thalidomide


Herpes B

Macaques are native to Asia and North Africa. They are also housed in research facilities, zoos, and wildlife or amusement parks and are kept as pets in private homes throughout the world. Monkey bites occasionally occur in certain urban sites, such as temples in Nepal or India, and can transmit herpes B virus.

Herpes B virus is related to the herpes simplex viruses that cause oral and genital ulcers. Herpes B infection is rare in humans. The virus was discovered in 1933, and since that time approximately 50 cases have been reported in humans, with an 80% case-fatality ratio. No cases of herpes B infection have been reported in people exposed to monkeys in the wild. Most documented cases have resulted from occupational exposures. However, travelers to areas where macaques range freely should be aware of the potential risk. A monkey infected with herpes B may appear completely healthy.

Documented routes of human infection with herpes B virus include animal bites and scratches, exposure to infected tissue or body fluids from splashes, and in one instance, human-to-human transmission. Even minor scratches or bites should be considered potential exposures, because, experimentally, herpes B virus has been isolated from surfaces for up to 2 weeks after it was applied. The incubation period ranges from <1 week to a month or longer. Neurologic symptoms develop as the virus infects the central nervous system and may lead to ascending paralysis and respiratory failure. Increased public and clinician awareness about the risks associated with an injury from a macaque, improved first aid after exposure, the availability of better diagnostic tests, and improved antiviral therapeutics have decreased the case-fatality ratio to 20% in treated people. As a result, from 1987 through 2004 only 5 infections were fatal.

Although only macaque bites pose a herpes B virus threat, any monkey bite may pose a threat for rabies.

(Text CDC)

West Nile Virus

Plasmodium vivax


  1. Template:Ref-Hubrecht1907
  2. <pubmed>19759608</pubmed>
  3. <pubmed>27165688</pubmed>
  4. <pubmed>20631291</pubmed>
  5. 5.0 5.1 <pubmed>19751816</pubmed>
  6. Gatenby JB. Some notes on recent primate embryology. (1945) Irish J. Med. Sci. 177-187.
  7. <pubmed>20631812</pubmed>| Front Neurosci.



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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, September 20) Embryology Monkey Development. Retrieved from

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