Serum cytokine profiles in healthy nonhuman primates are blunted by sedation and demonstrate sexual dimorphism as detected by a validated multiplex immunoassay

Laura Hocum Stone, Scott Hunter Oppler, Julia L. Nugent, Sarah Gresch, Bernhard J. Hering, Michael P Murtaugh, Rebecca L. Hegstad-Davies, Sabarinathan Ramachandran, Melanie L. Graham

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6 Scopus citations


Cytokine profiling is a valuable tool for monitoring immune responses associated with disease and treatment. This study assessed the impact of sex and sedation on serum cytokines in healthy nonhuman primates (NHPs). Twenty-three cytokines were measured from serum using a bead-based multiplex assay. Assay validation for precision, sensitivity, recovery, linearity, and stability was performed. Samples from male and female cynomolgus and rhesus macaques either cooperating or sedated were compared. All cytokines except TNFα demonstrated acceptable sensitivity and precision, with variable recovery and linearity. IFNγ, IL-2, IL-5, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12/23 (p40), IL-13, IL-15, MCP-1, TGFα, VEGF met acceptance criteria; G-CSF, IL-4, IL-10, MIP1α, sCD40L were marginal. Higher cytokine levels were observed in females and cytokine levels were blunted in sedated NHPs when compared to awake cooperating NHPs. Significant differences observed in cytokines related to sex, species, or imposed by handling highlight the importance of model design on translational relevance for clinical settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2340
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We gratefully acknowledge the excellent and expert care, husbandry, and training of our animals by the team at the University of Minnesota’s Preclinical Research Center and the expert technical contributions of Cole Stark and Suzanne Stone. Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health as part of the Nonhuman Primate Transplantation Tolerance Cooperative Study Group under Award Numbers U19AI067151, U01A120130, U01AI102463, R42DK109853, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation under Award Number 21-2006-881 and 2SRA-2016-260-S-B and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences of the National Institutes of Health Award Number UL1-TR002494. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This work was also supported by a generous gift from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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