Effect of gluten diet on blood innate immune gene expressions and stool consistency in Spix’s Saddleback Tamarin (Leontocebus fuscicollis) raised in captivity

  • Taianara Tocantins Gomes Almeida
  • Maria Vivina Barros Monteiro
  • Rafaelle Casseb Guimarães
  • Alexandre Rosário Casseb
  • Michael Alan Huffman
  • Evonnildo Costa Gonçalves
  • Frederico Ozanan Barros Monteiro
  • Ednaldo Silva FilhoEmail author
Original Article


The callitrichids are non-human primates that feed on insects and plant matter in nature, but in captivity, they are fed mostly an artificial diet containing amounts of gluten, in their toxic forms in items such as wheat, barley and rye. The aim of this research was to estimate the blood β-defensin and Toll like receptor 5 (TLR5) gene expressions and to analyze the stool consistency (firm, soft, diarrheic) in Leontocebus fuscicollis raised in captivity. Blood samples of animals under gluten-free and gluten diets were collected and their fecal output quality was periodically monitored and classified during the course of the study. Gene expression was evaluated using real-time PCR. The stool consistencies of individuals fed a gluten diet were most frequently soft or diarrheic, while it was mostly normal in individuals fed a gluten-free diet. β-Defensin expression increased in individuals fed a gluten diet, but decreased after 15 days. Expression normalized between 30 and 45 days on a gluten-free diet. However, expression of the TLR5 gene did not change under a gluten diet. A gluten diet affects stool quality, and brings about an immediate increase in blood β-defensin expression in the beginning but decreases after 15 days.


Callitrichids β-Defensin TLR5 Celiac disease Tamarin Health affects 



Gluten diet


Gluten free diet


Real time-polymerase chain reaction

Gene annotation


Toll like receptor


Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase



Thanks go to the National Primate Center for every support required for the animals and workers. We also thank the National Council of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq) for funding this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no potential conflict of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Ethical approval

All procedures that use animals were in accordance with the norms established by the National Council of Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA) of Brazil. All experimental procedures were registered on the Biodiversity Authorization and Information System of the Chico Mendes Institute of Biodiversity (SISBIO/ICMBIO, protocol number 47969-1) and was approved by the Ethics Committee of Animal Use at the Evandro Chagas Institute (CEUA/IEC, Protocol Number 17/2015).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de NutriçãoEscola Superior da AmazôniaBelémBrazil
  2. 2.Instituto de Ciências BiológicasUniversidade Federal do ParáBelémBrazil
  3. 3.Instituto da Saúde e Produção AnimalUniversidade Federal Rural da AmazôniaBelémBrazil
  4. 4.Primatology Research Institute (PRI)Kyoto UniversityInuyamaJapan

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