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The Monkey Alcohol Tissue Research Resource (MATRR)

The primary goal of this site is to build the resources of a tissue bank and associated bioinformatics to analyze and distribute appropriate tissue samples to the alcohol research community. This resource provides novel data for hypothesis testing relating the risk for and consequences of alcohol consumption and serve to bi-directionally bridge the gap between rodent and human studies. The basis of the MATRR is that non human primates, specifically monkeys, show a range of drinking excessive amounts of alcohol (>3.0 g/kg or a 12 drink equivalent/day) over long periods of time (12-30 months) with concomitant pathological changes in endocrine, hepatic and central nervous system (CNS) processes, see publications. These longitudinal designs span - stages of drinking - from ethanol-naïve to early alcohol exposure to chronic abuse. The CNS and peripheral organs from these animas comprise a unique translational resource for mechanistic and genetic studies of ethanol-induced pathologies.

Tissues available on this site are from three species of monkeys (cynomolgus macaques, rhesus macaques and vervet monkeys), monkeys chronically self-administering ethanol, monkeys undergoing abstinence from chronic alcohol and control monkeys matched by age, sex, caloric content of alcohol, and/or laboratory housing. Our cohorts also include monkeys with a history of stress prior to alcohol self-administration (adverse rearing or social subordination).

This tissue resource has several specific objectives.

  • To further develop the state-of-the-art for collecting, archiving and providing monkey tissues from an ethanol self-administration Standard Operating Protocol (SOP).
  • To develop informatics resources for the MATRR by developing an integrated laboratory information management system (LIMS) for tissue tracking and data management, to include a monkey database, tissue request and material transfer management, quality assurance and tissue tracking for resource operations, and data retention and management system.
  • Developing a system for the integrated analysis of genomic, genetic and phenotypic information in an attempt to automate the federation of complex data types across species, experimental protocols and disparate laboratories. For example, our goal is to integrate our work with existing databases such as and the Ontological Discovery Environment (ODE).
  • To encourage collaborations with the broader alcohol scientific community by establishing:
    • A mechanism for identifying research groups with an interest in obtaining tissues.
    • A Steering Committee for prioritizing and evaluating the use of tissue and for indentifying and prioritizing new or requested procedures of in vivo manipulations to enhance post-mortem evaluation (e.g., biotin, tetracycline, etc).