NUTRITIONAL MEGALOBLASTIC ANEMIA IN THE CHIMPANZEE: PATHOGENESIS OF AN ASCORBIC ACID DEFICIENCY.
AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB (6571ST) HOLLOMAN AFB N MEX
Pagination or Media Count:
Severe anemia with typical megaloblastic bone marrow manifestations occurred in two chimpanzees fed a relatively high fat diet without fruit supplementation for 16 weeks. Slight to moderate anemia occurred in ten other chimpanzees fed similar diets although only slight alterations occurred in the bone marrow. When compared to normal colony animals, blood ascorbic acid levels were low while vitamin B12 and folic acid levels were normal. Either ascorbic acid 100 mg IMday or vitamin B12 50 microgram IMweek treatment caused a reticulocytosis and conversion of the megaloblastic marrow to normoblastic. The reticulocytosis was followed by a steady improvement in the peripheral anemia with the ascorbic acid treatment, but little improvement occurred with vitamin B12. Folic acid treatment 30 mg IMday elicited no reticulocyte response and appeared to cause a sharp drop in the hema tocrit, hemoglobin and erythrocyte levels. Even though typical scurvy symptoms were not manifested in any of the animals, it was concluded that the megaloblastic anemia was due to an ascorbic acid deficiency. A possible relationship between the fat level of the diet and the ascorbic acid requirement of the chimpanzee is discussed. Author
- Medicine and Medical Research