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PLoS One



Food hypersensitivity-induced chronic gastrointestinal inflammation in a non-human primate model of diet-induced obesity.


Mustafa T, Li Q, Kelly LE, Gibbon A, Ryan I, Roffey K, Simonds S, Cowley MA, Sleeman MW
PLoS One. 2019; 14(4):e0214621.
PMID: 30947272.


Experimental non-human primate models of obesity are induced through the introduction of atypically calorically rich diets. Studies in captive-bred macaques show the development of obesity and diabetes with similar complications to humans including eye and kidney diseases, nerve damage associated with pain and blood vessel damage. Diets differ in outcomes and here we document inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that can be exacerbated through these dietary interventions. Following baseline physiological evaluation of body composition, Southern pigtail macaques were given a high-fat diet (HFD) for three months. This HFD consisted of lard, grains (including gluten), dairy and fructose that was otherwise omitted from a standard macaque diet (Chow). Physiological parameters were then reassessed before animals were reverted back to standard Chow for a further three months (remission). Consumption of the HFD resulted in food-mediated hypersensitivity marked by chronic weight loss, alopecia, malabsorption, protein-losing enteropathy and gross diffuse intestinal villi atrophy and lamina propria hypertrophy. Physiological changes were more highly pronounced in female macaques suggesting sex-specific differences but could be fully reversed through change of diet. Care should be taken in choosing non-human primate HFD diets for creating experimental models of obesity because they can induce severe food-driven chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that can eventuate to diet-induced chronic wasting and mortality.