Spontaneous Reproductive Tract Lesions in Aged Captive Chimpanzees

Vet Pathol. 2016 Mar;53(2):425-35. doi: 10.1177/0300985815620654. Epub 2016 Jan 28.


Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have served as an important model for studies of reproductive diseases and aging-related disorders in humans. However, limited information is available about spontaneously occurring reproductive tract lesions in aging chimpanzees. In this article, the authors present histopathologic descriptions of lesions identified in the reproductive tract, including the mammary gland, of 33 female and 34 male aged chimpanzees from 3 captive populations. The most common findings in female chimpanzees were ovarian atrophy, uterine leiomyoma, adenomyosis, and endometrial atrophy. The most common findings in male chimpanzees were seminiferous tubule degeneration and lymphocytic infiltrates in the prostate gland. Other less common lesions included an ovarian granulosa cell tumor, cystic endometrial hyperplasia, an endometrial polyp, uterine artery hypertrophy and mineralization, atrophic vaginitis, mammary gland inflammation, prostatic epithelial hyperplasia, dilated seminal vesicles, a sperm granuloma, and lymphocytic infiltrates in the epididymis. The findings in this study closely mimic changes described in the reproductive tract of aged humans, with the exception of a lack of malignant changes observed in the mammary gland and prostate gland.

Keywords: biological aging; chimpanzee; female; genital organs; leiomyoma; male; mammary glands; pathology; uterine.

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Animals
  • Ape Diseases / pathology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Genital Diseases, Female / pathology
  • Genital Diseases, Female / veterinary*
  • Genital Diseases, Male / pathology
  • Genital Diseases, Male / veterinary*
  • Genitalia / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pan troglodytes*
  • Retrospective Studies