Abstract # 85:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation

Characteristics and Regulation of the Ovarian Cycle in the Vervet Monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops)

T. A. Molskness, D. L. Hess, G. M. Maginnis, J. W. Fanton and R. L. Stouffer
Oregon National Primate Research Center, Div. of Reproductive Sciences, 505 NW 185th Ave., Beaverton, OR 97006, USA
     Vervets may be an alternative to macaques as a primate model for research pertaining to human reproduction. This project evaluated the potential of this species for research on ovarian function during the menstrual cycle. Daily saphenous blood samples were collected from adult females 1) during spontaneous menstrual cycles (n = 7), 2) during cycles in which a GnRH antagonist (Acycline) was administered for 3 days at midluteal phase (n = 3), and 3) for 30 days following recovery from hysterectomy (n = 4). Estradiol (E) and progesterone (P) levels were assayed by Roche Elecsys Assay. Gonadotropin levels were measured by radioimmunoassay, using macaque standards. Spontaneous cycles exhibited a midcycle E rise (476 ± 49 pg/ml), engendering a luteinizing hormone surge, 12 ± 1 days after onset of menses, followed by luteal phase with peak P levels of 4.7 ± 0.9 ng/ml. Acyline caused a significant (P < 0.05) decline in P levels (2.9 ± 0.5 vs 0.5 ± 0.3 ng/ml, 0 vs 48 hr treatment) and premature menstruation compared to untreated controls (P < 0.05). Hysterectomy had no apparent effect on the monthly pattern or levels of circulating E or P. Thus, the characteristics and regulation of the ovarian cycle in vervets appear similar to those in women and macaques, with cyclicity independent of a uterine luteolytic factor and dependent on pituitary gonadotropin hormones. RR00163