Image credit: Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator;
C. Carl Jaffe, MD, cardiologist

TPLH has assembled a colony of baboons between 0 and 25 years of age (0 to 100 human equivalent). In addition to studies on postnatal animals across the life-course, the TPLH NICHD Program Project Grant, in year 22, supports studies on mothers and their fetuses throughout pregnancy. Several well-established, funded investigator groups are collaborating in either individual projects or multidisciplinary, multi-institution projects studying these animals.

We have considerable experience in conducting long-term in vivo physiological studies using free moving animals on a tether system to study endocrine, cardiovascular, and metabolic endpoints. We have an extensive archive of frozen and fixed cardiac and vascular tissues from fetuses and pregnant baboons from 0.5 gestation to term and across the life-course.

We are developing a multi-institution, multidisciplinary project to develop the power of this unique nonhuman primate colony to evaluate effects of the following on cardiac development and function:

  1. health of mothers and sires before pregnancy;
  2. outcomes of developmental programming challenges, such as sub-optimal maternal nutrition (under- and over-nutrition), maternal stress, and exposure to environmental pollutants and obstetric pharmacological agents administered to mothers in pregnancy and lactation;
  3. normal life course aging.

If you have an interest in participating, contact the Director, Peter W Nathanielsz, at .

Selected Publications:

  1. Kuo AH, Li C, Li J, Huber HF, Nathanielsz PW, Clarke GD. (2017) Cardiac remodelling in a baboon model of intrauterine growth restriction mimics accelerated ageing. J Physiol (Lond) 595:1093–1110. PMID 27988927.
  2. Dong, M., Zheng, Q., Ford, S. P., Nathanielsz, P. W., & Ren, J. (2013) Maternal obesity, lipotoxicity and cardiovascular diseases in offspring. J Mol Cell Cardiol 55, 111–116. PMID 22982026.
  3. Kandadi, M. R., Hua, Y., Zhu, M., Turdi, S., Nathanielsz, P. W., Ford, S. P., Nair, S., Ren, J. (2013) Influence of gestational overfeeding on myocardial proinflammatory mediators in fetal sheep heart. J Nutr Biochem 24(11): 1982–1990. PMID 24075902.
  4. Maloyan, A., Muralimanoharan, S., Huffman, S., Cox, L.A., Nathanielsz, P.W., Myatt, L., Nijland, M.J. (2013) Identification and Comparative Analyses of Myocardial miRNAs Involved in the Fetal Response to Maternal Obesity. Physiol Genomics 45(19): 889-900. PMID 23922128.
  5. Cox, L.A., Glenn, J.P., Spradling, K.D., Nijland, M.J., Garcia, R., Nathanielsz, P.W., Ford, S.P. (2012) A genome resource to address mechanisms of developmental programming; determination of the fetal sheep heart transcriptome. J Physiol 590: 2873-2884. PMID 22508961.
  6. Huang Y, Yan X, Zhao JX, Zhu MJ, McCormick RJ, Ford SP, Nathanielsz PW, Ren J, Du M. (2010) Maternal obesity induces fibrosis in fetal myocardium of sheep. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 299(6): E968-75. PMID 20876759.
  7. Wang J, Ma H, Tong C, Zhang H, Lawlis GB, Li Y, Zang M, Ren J, Nijland MJ, Ford SP, Nathanielsz PW, Li J. (2010) Overnutrition and maternal obesity in sheep pregnancy alter the JNK-IRS-1 signaling cascades and cardiac function in the fetal heart. FASEB J 450(1-2): 1-7. PMID 20110268