Teratology and Birth Defects
The three basic needs for animal models in teratology are testing or screening substances which may, by a variety of routes, pass from the mother to the developing embryo, studying specific malformations, spontaneous or experimentally induced, that occur in humans to obtain a better understanding of their etiology, pathogenesis, and related events, and studying the mechanism of teratogenic agents. This chapter provides information regarding the role of nonhuman primates in teratological research. Specifically, it discusses the rationale for using nonhuman primates as animal models for human teratogens, and addresses the use of these species in teratological studies. Comparative information on the temporal and morphological aspects of development is essential in an evaluation of an animal model for human teratogens. The features of maternal drug metabolism represent only a partial picture of prenatal toxicology and pharmacology.