Evaluation of the vervet (Clorocebus aethiops) as a model for the assisted reproductive technologies

Michelle L. Sparman, Cathy M. Ramsey, Carrie M. Thomas, Shoukhrat M. Mitalipov, John W. Fanton, Gwen M. Maginnis, Richard Stouffer, Don P. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The vervet monkey was evaluated as a primate model for use in assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs). Eight adult female vervets were hormonally monitored for their potential use as egg donors and those six females displaying regular menstrual cycles were subjected to controlled ovarian stimulation with recombinant human gonadotropins. Three animals failed to respond while laparoscopic follicular aspiration was performed on the other three females at 27-30 h post-human chorionic gonadotropin administration. A total of 62, 40, and 18 oocytes was recovered from these three animals of which 30, 20, and 4, respectively, matured to the metaphase II stage and were subsequently inseminated using intracytoplasmic sperm injection. An average of 40 ± 15% (SEM) of the inseminated oocytes were fertilized based on pronucleus formation and timely cleavage. One embryo from each of the two stimulated females developed into expanded blastocysts. Two adult male vervets were assessed as sperm donors. Neither adjusted well to the restraint and collection procedure required for penile electroejaculation. Samples collected via rectal electroejaculation were very low in sperm motility and concentration; however, cauda epididymal aspirations from one male yielded an adequate concentration of motile sperm. These results emphasize the need to establish species-specific ovarian stimulation protocols and semen collection techniques if vervets are to be considered for basic and applied (ARTs) research on primate gametes or embryos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)917-929
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Primatology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • Embryo
  • Ovarian stimulation
  • Vervet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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