Comparison of the Vaginal environment of Macaca mulatta and Macaca nemestrina Throughout the Menstrual Cycle
Version of Record online: 13 FEB 2014
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
American Journal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume 71, Issue 4, pages 322–329, April 2014
How to Cite
Comparison of the vaginal environment of macaca mulatta and macaca nemestrina throughout the menstrual cycle. Am J Reprod Immunol 2014; 71: 322–329, , , , , , .
- Issue online: 11 MAR 2014
- Version of Record online: 13 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 17 DEC 2013
- Manuscript Received: 13 NOV 2013
- NIH. Grant Numbers: U19 AI076981, R01 AI084793, OD011104-51
- Tulane University
- National Center for Research Resources
- Office of Research Infrastructure Programs
- Macaca nemestrina ;
- menstrual cycle;
- rhesus macaque ;
- SIV/HIV transmission ;
Pigtail macaques, Macaca nemestrina (PT), are more susceptible to vaginal transmission of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD) than rhesus macaques (RM). However, comparative studies to explore the reasons for these differences are lacking.
Method of Study
Here, we compared differences in hormone levels and vaginal mucosal anatomy and thickness of RM and PT through different stages of the menstrual cycle. Concentrations of plasma estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4) were determined weekly, and vaginal biopsies examined at days 0 and 14 of the menstrual cycle.
Consistent changes in vaginal epithelial thickness occurred at different stages of the menstrual cycle. In both species, the vaginal epithelium was significantly thicker in the follicular than in luteal phase. Keratinized epithelium was strikingly much more prominent in RM, especially during the luteal phase. Further, the vaginal epithelium was significantly thinner, and the P4:E2 ratio was higher in PT during luteal phase than RM.
Striking anatomic differences in the vaginal epithelium between rhesus and pigtail macaques combined with differences in P4:E2 ratio support the hypothesis that thinning and less keratinization of the vaginal epithelium may be involved in the greater susceptibility of pigtail macaques to vaginal transmission of SIV or other STD.