Abstract # 2385 Poster # 51:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 4 (Ball Rooms A and B) Poster Presentation


K. M. Arbenz-Smith1, H. Heinsen2, J. C. Arbenz-Smith3 and J. M. Erwin4
1Great Ape Aging Project--Expanded, Heppenheim, Germany, 2Morphological Brain Research Unit, Psychiatric Clinic, University of Wuerzburg, Germany, 3Northern Europe District Veterinary Command, US Army, Kaiserslautern, Germany, 4VA-MD Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060 USA
     The Great Ape Aging Project (GAAP) has been functioning in the United States for more than a decade. It has obtained beneficial information from monitoring the health and behavior of great apes, and has contributed to knowledge and understanding of comparative primate neurobiology and the aging process. Two years ago, a European version of GAAP was initiated. After natural death or euthanasia for humane reasons, brains are donated to the CNS Tissue Bank at the Instituet fuer Rechtsmedizin/Forensic Pathology Laboratory in Wuerzburg, Germany. There, detailed neuropathology and neuroanatomy procedures are performed, including immersion/perfusion fixation, cytoarchitectonic and quantitative studies with gallocyanin-stained parallel sections, and digital 3D construction of the complete brains and their subcortical nucleii and primary brain areas (using Amira® software). A survey is in progress of the location and ages of all the aged primates in Europe. As a collaborating institution, the Heidelberg Zoo houses a number of promising participants, including six chimpanzees and two orangutans over 30 years of age. A 3D reconstruction of the brain of a capuchin monkey is presented here to demonstrate the potential value of this technique for characterizing and visualizing primate brains. The availability of this technology to GAAP-E promises to advance progress in investigating the degree to which cellular changes associated with age-related disorders occur in nonhuman primates.