JOURNAL ARTICLE

Morphologic, stereologic, and morphometric evaluation of the nervous system in young cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis) following maternal administration of tanezumab, a monoclonal antibody to nerve growth factor

Mark Butt, Mark Evans, Christopher J Bowman, Thomas Cummings, Satoru Oneda, David Shelton, Mark Zorbas
Toxicological Sciences: An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology 2014, 142 (2): 463-76
25326242
Tanezumab, an antibody to nerve growth factor, was administered to pregnant cynomolgus monkeys at 0, 0.5, 4, and 30 mg/kg weekly, beginning gestation day (GD) 20 through parturition (∼GD165). Maternal tanezumab administration appeared to increase stillbirths and infant mortality, but no consistent pattern of gross and/or microscopic change was detected to explain the mortality. Offspring exposed in utero were evaluated at 12 months of age using light microscopy (all tissues), stereology (basal forebrain cholinergic and dorsal root ganglia neurons), and morphometry (sural nerve). Light microscopy revealed decreased number of neurons in sympathetic ganglia (superior mesenteric, cervicothoracic, and ganglia in the thoracic sympathetic trunk). Stereologic assessment indicated an overall decrease in dorsal root ganglion (thoracic) volume and number of neurons in animals exposed to tanezumab 4 mg/kg (n = 9) and 30 mg/kg (n = 1). At all tanezumab doses, the sural nerve was small due to decreases in myelinated and unmyelinated axons. Existing axons/myelin sheaths appeared normal when viewed with light and transmission electron microscopy. There was no indication of tanezumab-related, active neuron/nerve fiber degeneration/necrosis in any tissue, indicating decreased sensory/sympathetic neurons and axonal changes were due to hypoplasia or atrophy. These changes in the sensory and sympathetic portions of the peripheral nervous system suggest some degree of developmental neurotoxicity, although what effect, if any, the changes had on normal function and survival was not apparent. Overall, these changes were consistent with published data from rodent studies.

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