Body-composition changes in the simian immunodeficiency virus-infected juvenile rhesus macaque

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Abdomen; Absorptiometry, Photon; Animals; Body Composition; Disease Models, Animal; Immunophenotyping; Longitudinal Studies; *Macaca mulatta; Male; Prospective Studies; RNA, Viral; Regression Analysis; Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction; Simian Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Simian immunodeficiency virus; Viral Load


Infectious Disease | Veterinary Infectious Diseases


BACKGROUND: Body-composition changes are common in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus. The purpose of the present study was to measure, as a model of wasting in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), longitudinal body-composition changes in macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV).

METHODS: Twelve juvenile macaques were inoculated with SIVmac239. Immunologic, virologic, somatometric, and dual-energy x-ray-absorptiometry measurements were performed prospectively every 4 weeks for 72 weeks and were compared to measurements taken from 8 uninfected control macaques.

RESULTS: During the first 4 weeks, body-fat percentage decreased in the SIV-infected macaques while lean-tissue percentage increased; during weeks 4-72, these macaques lost a greater percentage of total fat tissue but had more subcutaneous-fat deposition than did the uninfected control macaques. Just prior to death, the SIV-infected macaques that died (n=7) had a greater loss in body-mass index, abdominal fat, fat tissue, and lean tissue, compared with that in SIV-infected macaques that survived (n=5).

CONCLUSIONS: Body-composition changes in SIV-infected juvenile macaques exhibit 3 phases: during acute infection, loss of body weight from fat tissue; a compensation period during which macaques grow, but at a reduced rate; and a terminal phase, during which tissue is lost from all body compartments. The SIV-infected juvenile macaque provides a useful model for the investigation of wasting in AIDS, particularly for pediatric AIDS wasting.

DOI of Published Version



J Infect Dis. 2004 Jun 1;189(11):2010-5. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of infectious diseases


At the time of publication, Wenjun Li was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID