Renal vascular and glomerular pathologies associated with spontaneous hypertension in the nonhuman primate Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus

Megan K. Rhoads, Slavina B. Goleva, William H. Beierwaltes, Jeffrey L. Osborn

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12 Scopus citations


Hypertension is a complex, multifactorial disease affecting an estimated 78 million adults in the United States. Despite scientific gains, the etiology of human essential hypertension is unknown and current experimental models do not recapitulate all the behavioral and physiological characteristics of the pathology. Researchers should assess the translational capacity of these models and look to other animal models for the discovery of new therapies. Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus, the African Green Monkey (AGM), is a nonhuman primate that develops spontaneous hypertension and may provide a novel translational model for the study of hypertension and associated diseases. In a randomly selected group of 424 adult AGMs, 37% (157/424) exhibited systolic blood pressures (SBP) >140 mmHg (SBP: 172.0 ± 2.2 mmHg) and were characterized as hypertensive (HT). 44% (187/424) were characterized as normotensive with SBP >120 mmHg (NT, SBP: 99.6 ± 1.0 mmHg) and the remaining 18% (80/424) as borderline hypertensive (BHT, SBP: 130.6 ± 0.6 mmHg). When compared with NT animals, HT AGMs are older (8.7 ± 0.6 vs. 12.4 ± 0.7 yr, P < 0.05) with elevated heart rates (125.7 ± 2.0 vs. 137.7 ± 2.2 beats/min, P < 0.05). BHT animals had average heart rates of 138.2 ± 3.1 beats/min (P < 0.05 compared with NT) and were 11.00 ± 0.9 yr old. NT and HT animals had similar levels of angiotensinogen gene expression, plasma renin activity, and renal cortical renin content (P < 0.05). HT monkeys exhibit renal vascular remodeling (wall-to-lumen ratio NT 0.11 ± 0.01 vs. HT 0.15 ± 0.02, P < 0.05) and altered glomerular morphology (Bowman’s capsular space: NT 30.9 ± 1.9% vs. HT 44.4 ± 3.1%, P < 0.05). The hypertensive AGM provides a large animal model that is highly similar to humans and should be studied to identify novel, more effective targets for the treatment of hypertension.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)R211-R218
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the staff of the Behavioral Sciences Foundation, especially Dr. Roberta Palmour, Dr. Amy Beierschmitt, Denise Huggins, and Maurice Matthews for technical expertise in the nonhuman primate. We thank Gilbert Gordon and Frances Louard of Biomedical Science Research Group, LLC for technical assistance and expertise with the AGM in procurement of animals and measuring of blood pressure in different aged animals. Significant portions of the histological and tissue work were made possible by the generous contributions and support of Telabio (Malvern, PA) and Life Cell (Branchberg, NJ). The financial support of Behavioral Sciences Foundation, SKN Primates and Biomedical Sciences Research Group, LLC are gratefully acknowledged.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 the American Physiological Society.


  • African green monkey
  • Blood pressure
  • Caribbean vervet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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