Skeletal survey of Cayo Santiago rhesus macaques: Osteoarthritis and articular plate excrescences


Skeletal survey of Cayo Santiago rhesus macaques: Osteoarthritis and articular plate excrescences


Rothschild B M; Hong N; Turnquist J E


Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism




Objectives: This study was performed to complement studies on spondyloarthropathy in rhesus macaques by quantifying and characterizing another major form of arthritis and contrasting it with osteoarthritis. Methods: Skeletons of 269 macaques of known age and troop affiliation from the free-ranging Cayo Santiago colony (Caribbean Primate Research Center) were macroscopically surveyed for the presence of articular changes of osteoarthritis, articular plate excrescences, and calcifications that project back over the joint surface in all diarthrodial joints. Statistical tests were used to establish the independence of pathological conditions, age, gender, troop membership, and specific joint involvement. Results: Subchondral articular surface excrescences or calcific plate-like articular surface overgrowth were noted in 17% and osteoarthritis in 18% of Cayo Santiago macaques. Distribution of joint involvement and sex ratio (1:1) of the former condition were independent of either troop membership or the distribution of osteoarthritis. Conclusion: Three major forms of arthritis are common in rhesus macaques: osteoarthritis, spondyloarthropathy and a category that might be referred to as apical plate excrescences (APE). The latter is very different from spondyloarthropathy, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, and infectious arthritis. It is quite similar to what in the past has been referred to as the radiographic form of calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (CPPD) in humans. A new name has not been offered for the identification/categorization of this phenomenon in dry bone. Its occurrence in rhesus macaques appears to present a natural model for characterization of genetic, immunologic, and environmental aspects of this phenomenon. The acronym APE is offered for consideration in naming this category of arthritis in skeletal material. Semin Arthritis Rheum 29:100-111. Copyright (C) 1999 by W.B. Saunders Company.


age; arthritis; calcium; calcium pryrophosphate deposition disease; Cayo Santiago; defleshed bones; dihydrate crystals; epidemiology; erosive arthritis; macaca-mulatta; monkeys macaca-mulatta; population analysis; pyrophosphate deposition disease; reproductive; rhesus macaques; rheumatoid-arthritis; Rheumatology; spondyloarthropathy; success


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Rothschild B M; Hong N; Turnquist J E, “Skeletal survey of Cayo Santiago rhesus macaques: Osteoarthritis and articular plate excrescences,” NEOMED Bibliography Database, accessed April 16, 2024,