Alzheimers Dement 2019 01 19;15(1):93-105. Epub 2018 Nov 19.
Department of Internal Medicine, Section on Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA. Electronic address:
Introduction: Nonhuman primates may serve as excellent models of sporadic age-associated brain β-amyloid deposition and Alzheimer's disease pathologic changes. We examined whether a vervet nonhuman primate model recapitulated pathologic, physiologic, and behavioral features of early Alzheimer's disease.
Methods: Nine middle-aged (mean = 11.2 years) and nine aged (mean = 21.7 years) female vervet/African green monkeys underwent cerebrospinal fluid collection, gait speed measurement, and neuroimaging before neuropathologic assessment.
Results: β-amyloid plaques were identified in all aged vervets and paired helical filament tau immunoreactivity was observed in all animals. Cerebrospinal fluid β-amyloid and gait speed correlated negatively with age and plaque density. Greater plaque and paired helical filament tau burden predicted reduced volumes and CMRg in several brain regions.
Discussion: We observed a coordinated set of relationships among neuropathologic, cerebrospinal fluid, imaging, and behavioral modalities consistent with early Alzheimer's disease. Our results support future use of the vervet model to explore disease mechanisms, biomarkers, and novel therapeutic strategies.