Audra M Hachey

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (4)9.44 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Endometriosis is one of the most frequently encountered gynecologic diseases and a common cause of chronic pelvic pain and infertility. The pathophysiology of this syndrome can best be described as the presence of ectopic endometrium and a pelvic inflammatory process with associated immune dysfunction and alteration in the peritoneal environment. Macrophages play an important role in the progression and propagation of endometriosis. Alternative macrophage activation occurs in rodents and women with endometriosis but had not been examined previously in nonhuman primates. This case-control study aimed to characterize macrophage polarization in the ectopic and eutopic endometrial tissue of nonhuman primates with and without endometriosis. In addition, circulating cytokines in endometriosis cases and normal controls were investigated in an effort to identify serum factors that contribute to or result from macrophage polarization. Endometriosis lesions demonstrated increased infiltration by macrophages polarized toward the M2 phenotype when compared with healthy control endometrium. No serum cytokine trends consistent with alternative macrophage activation were identified. However, serum transforming growth factor α was elevated in macaques with endometriosis compared with healthy controls. Findings indicated that the activation state of macrophages in endometriosis tissue in nonhuman primates is weighted toward the M2 phenotype. This important finding enables rhesus macaques to serve as an animal model to investigate the contribution of macrophage polarization to the pathophysiology of endometriosis.
    Comparative medicine 01/2012; 62(4):303-10. · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There is a critical need for animal models to study aspects type 2 diabetes (T2D) pathogenesis and prevention. While the rhesus macaque is such an established model, the common marmoset has added benefits including reduced zoonotic risks, shorter life span, and a predisposition to birth twins demonstrating chimerism. The marmoset as a model organism for the study of metabolic syndrome has not been fully evaluated. Marmosets fed high-fat or glucose-enriched diets were followed longitudinally to observe effects on morphometric and metabolic measures. Effects on pancreatic histomorphometry and vascular pathology were examined terminally. The glucose-enriched diet group developed an obese phenotype and a prolonged hyperglycemic state evidenced by a rapid and persistent increase in mean glycosylated hemoglobin (HgbA1c) observed as early as week 16. In contrast, marmosets fed a high-fat diet did not maintain an obese phenotype and demonstrated a delayed increase in HgbA1) that did not reach statistical significance until week 40. Consumption of either diet resulted in profound pancreatic islet hyperplasia suggesting a compensation for increased insulin requirements. Although the high-fat diet group developed atherosclerosis of increased severity, the presence of lesions correlated with glucose intolerance only in the glucose-enriched diet group. The altered timing of glucose dysregulation, differential contribution to obesity, and variation in vascular pathology suggests mechanisms of effect specific to dietary nutrient content. Feeding nutritionally modified diets to common marmosets recapitulates aspects of metabolic disease and represents a model that may prove instrumental to elucidating the contribution of nutrient excess to disease development.
    Obesity 12/2010; 19(6):1145-56. · 4.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Giardia intestinalis is a common protozoan parasite that can infect many laboratory animal primates, although its role as a contributor to the induction of gastrointestinal disease remains unclear. This study sought to investigate the prevalence of Giardia in a colony of common marmosets by using a Giardia antigen-capture assay and to address the possible eradication of this infection by using tinidazole, an antiprotozoal similar to metronidazole but requiring fewer doses. Among 31 colony marmosets, 13 (42%) were positive for Giardia. Two doses of oral tinidazole eliminated the infection in all animals. Repeat testing of the 13 Giardia-positive monkeys 1 y later showed that 11 remained negative and that treated animals had a significant increase in weight at 1 y. Giardia antigen is common in common marmoset feces, and treatment using oral tinidazole is possible and highly effective.
    Comparative medicine 05/2009; 59(2):174-9. · 0.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diabetes is a growing public health concern, and animal models of this disease are necessary for a full understanding of disease pathogenesis, progression, clinical sequelae, and treatment options. In particular, nonhuman primate models of diabetes are important because of their close genetic relationship to humans. Although numerous Old World primate models have been described, few studies have examined the possibility of using New World monkeys as an animal model for this disease. Streptozotocin (STZ) is a common diabetogenic drug that selectively destroys beta cells after uptake via the GLUT2 glucose transporter. Induction of diabetes using STZ was attempted in common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). These animals showed increases in blood glucose consistent with diabetes only at STZ doses markedly greater than those used in other primate species. Additionally, all animals showed pathological evidence of acute renal and liver toxicity secondary to the treatment. In a subsequent comparative study of various nonhuman primates, GLUT2 immunostaining in pancreatic islets was used as a marker for sensitivity to STZ. Immunostaining of islets from a variety of nonhuman primate species indicated a reduced expression of pancreatic GLUT2 in New compared with Old World monkeys; this finding explains their resistance to diabetic induction with STZ. Furthermore, there were age-dependent differences in GLUT2 expression, with aged and infant macaques showing reduced expression. We conclude that New World monkeys are an inappropriate model for diabetes induction with STZ and that, with all primate species, it is important to consider the animals' age before diabetic induction with STZ is attempted.
    AJP Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology 01/2009; 296(3):R786-93. · 3.53 Impact Factor