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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Subtoxic hepatic vitamin A concentrations in captive rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

Although the rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) is a widely used experimental animal, its exact vitamin A requirement is unknown. An amount of 430-3600 IU/d [129-1080 retinol equivalents (RE)] is recommended, largely on the basis of depletion studies. Normal hepatic vitamin A appears to be 1 micromol/g liver. Our goal was to determine hepatic vitamin A concentrations of captive monkeys. Liver autopsy samples from rhesus and marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) monkeys were obtained from the Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center. The rhesus monkeys consumed a diet with 40 IU (12 RE) retinyl acetate/g. Male and female monkeys consumed an estimated 250 and 175 g diet/d, respectively. Marmosets were fed a powder-based diet consisting of 20 IU (6 RE) retinyl acetate/g. The marmosets consumed an estimated 25 g of the diet/d. Liver samples were extracted and analyzed by HPLC. The vitamin A concentration of the rhesus monkey livers was very high at 17.0 +/- 6.3 micromol/g. The hepatic vitamin A of the marmosets was 1.25 +/- 0.58 micromol/g liver. Histologic examination of the livers revealed Ito cell hypertrophy and hyperplasia in the rhesus monkeys compared with the marmosets. Considering that the natural diet of the rhesus monkey (fruits, seeds, roots and insects) is not high in preformed vitamin A, the vitamin A content of the diet appears excessive, supplying four times the NRC recommendation and resulting in high liver stores.[1]


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