, Volume 60, Issue 1, pp 37–46 | Cite as

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’ConnorEmail author
Original Paper


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.


Rhesus macaque MHC class I Mamu-A Mamu-B 



The authors would like to thank Natasja de Groot, Nel Otting, and IMGT Non-human Primate Nomenclature Committee for naming the Mamu-A and Mamu-B sequences. We thank Jason Wojcechowskyj for microsatellite primer design, Chad Pendley and Ericka Becker for assistance with cloning and sequencing, and members of the O’Connor group for helpful discussions. This work was supported by subcontract from the Battelle Biomedical Research Center under NIAID contract N01-A1-30061. This publication was made possible in part by Grant Number P51 RR000167 from the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison. This research was conducted in part at a facility constructed with support from Research Facilities Improvement Program grant numbers RR15459-01 and RR020141-01. This publication’s contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NCRR, NIAID, or NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie A. Karl
    • 1
  • Roger W. Wiseman
    • 2
  • Kevin J. Campbell
    • 2
  • Alex J. Blasky
    • 2
  • Austin L. Hughes
    • 3
  • Betsy Ferguson
    • 4
    • 5
  • Daniel S. Read
    • 6
  • David H. O’Connor
    • 1
    • 2
    • 7
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  2. 2.Wisconsin National Primate Research CenterUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA
  4. 4.Genetics Research and Informatics Program, Oregon National Primate Research CenterOregon Health and Sciences UniversityBeavertonUSA
  5. 5.Washington National Primate Research CenterUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Battelle Biomedical Research CenterColumbusUSA
  7. 7.University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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