Identification of MHC class I sequences in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques

Julie A. Karl, Roger W. Wiseman, Kevin J. Campbell, Alex J. Blasky, Austin L. Hughes, Betsy Ferguson, Daniel S. Read, David H. O'Connor

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    70 Scopus citations


    The rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is an excellent model for human disease and vaccine research. Two populations exhibiting distinctive morphological and physiological characteristics, Indian- and Chinese-origin rhesus macaques, are commonly used in research. Genetic analysis has focused on the Indian macaque population, but the accessibility of these animals for research is limited. Due to their greater availability, Chinese rhesus macaques are now being used more frequently, particularly in vaccine and biodefense studies, although relatively little is known about their immunogenetics. In this study, we discovered major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I cDNAs in 12 Chinese rhesus macaques and detected 41 distinct Mamu-A and Mamu-B sequences. Twenty-seven of these class I cDNAs were novel, while six and eight of these sequences were previously reported in Chinese and Indian rhesus macaques, respectively. We then performed microsatellite analysis on DNA from these 12 animals, as well as an additional 18 animals, and developed sequence specific primer PCR (PCR-SSP) assays for eight cDNAs found in multiple animals. We also examined our cohort for potential admixture of Chinese and Indian origin animals using a recently developed panel of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The discovery of 27 novel MHC class I sequences in this analysis underscores the genetic diversity of Chinese rhesus macaques and contributes reagents that will be valuable for studying cellular immunology in this population.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)37-46
    Number of pages10
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Jan 2008


    • MHC class I
    • Mamu-A
    • Mamu-B
    • Rhesus macaque

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Immunology
    • Genetics


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