Third, seasonal menstrual cycles in rhesus monkeys may confound reproductive aging studies. Seasonality should be considered when interpreting studies of reproductive aging and the pathophysiology of menopause-related health problems and conditions.
Fourth, many of the studies exploring health and cognitive changes associated with surgical menopause, and the effects of estrogen on these changes, utilized young adult NHPs. Whether pathophysiologic changes associated with ovariectomy are independent of age at surgery is not known. It is reasonable to anticipate that older adult animals may respond differently than younger adults to ovariectomy and estrogen replacement because of age-related changes in the biological processes underlying tissue function. This important issue has not been adequately addressed. For example, the studies summarized at the workshop using ovariectomized cynomolgus monkeys involved relatively young animals (average age, 8-10 yr). That same laboratory has recently changed to somewhat older animals (age, >12 yr), so that animals achieve peak bone mass before ovariectomy. natural asthma treatment
Finally, the numbers of appropriate older female NHPs available and useful for these studies are very limited. Investigators interested in research using NHPs who do not have direct access to adequate numbers of animals may consult with National Institutes of Health staff to determine what possibilities exist for obtaining appropriate animals.
Use of the NHP as a Model for Human Menopause
In conclusion, use of the NHP as a model for human menopause appears promising, but continued research is needed to confirm this. With an appropriate animal model, research on menopause will go forward to provide important new information for women, permitting a better understanding and anticipation of their menopausal experience as well as information to prevent or ameliorate menopause-associate health problems during their extensive postmenopausal life span.