Generation of genetically engineered non-human primate models of brain function and neurological disorders

Am J Primatol. 2019 Feb;81(2):e22931. doi: 10.1002/ajp.22931. Epub 2018 Dec 26.


Research with non-human primates (NHP) has been essential and effective in increasing our ability to find cures for a large number of diseases that cause human suffering and death. Extending the availability and use of genetic engineering techniques to NHP will allow the creation and study of NHP models of human disease, as well as broaden our understanding of neural circuits in the primate brain. With the recent development of efficient genetic engineering techniques that can be used for NHP, there's increased hope that NHP will significantly accelerate our understanding of the etiology of human neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. In this article, we review the present state of genetic engineering tools used in NHP, from the early efforts to induce exogeneous gene expression in macaques and marmosets, to the latest results in producing germline transmission of different transgenes and the establishment of knockout lines of specific genes. We conclude with future perspectives on the further development and employment of these tools to generate genetically engineered NHP.

Keywords: gene editing; genome sequencing; macaques; marmosets; transgenesis; transgenic animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Brain / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Gene Editing / methods
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Nervous System Diseases / genetics
  • Primates*