Fertilization in the Rhesus Monkey

  • Barry D. Bavister
  • Dorothy E. Boatman
  • Patricia M. Morgan
  • Pradeep K. Warikoo


The nonhuman primates occupy a unique niche among species suitable for experimental studies on fertilization and early development. Studies with nonhuman primates provide an important link between the huge literature derived from work on rodents and other common laboratory species and the relatively small amount of data on humans. Research with rodent species continues to provide the bulk of basic information on early development, in large part because of the ready availability of oocytes and embryos, but it is difficult to know to what extent information can be extrapolated to primate species, including humans. Information is increasingly available from the numerous human in vitro fertilization (IVF) programs now in operation. However, the amount and quality of basic scientific data on early development that can be obtained from this source are restricted, in part by ethical constraints (Austin, 1990) and in part by conflicting priorities between research and clinical needs for the supply of oocytes and embryos. For example, most “excess” human IVF embryos in the U.S.A. are destined for cryopreservation or for use in a donor program and are thus unsuitable for any research protocol that might compromise their viability. In contrast, there are no prohibitions on the use of fertilized eggs or embryos of nonhuman primates for research, while the reproductive physiology and embryology of the Old-World nonhuman primates are sufficiently similar to humans that direct extrapolation of concepts is possible.


Rhesus Monkey Embryo Transfer Nonhuman Primate Oocyte Maturation Acrosome Reaction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry D. Bavister
    • 1
  • Dorothy E. Boatman
    • 1
  • Patricia M. Morgan
    • 1
  • Pradeep K. Warikoo
    • 1
  1. 1.Wisconsin Regional Primate Research CenterUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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