Fetal hemoglobin distributions among adult baboon and macaque species
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Heritable variation in fetal hemoglobin (Hb F) in erythrocytes of the adult human has been shown to occur at more than one genetic locus. Heritable variation has also been reported in adult baboons. Nonhuman primates thus may serve as useful models for understanding how Hb F is regulated in the human. In the study reported here we identified Hb F in hemolysates from 27 of 32 rhesus macaques, from 32 of 32 baboons, and from none of 35 cynomoglus macaques. Hb F as a percentage of total hemoglobin occurred as a normally distributed variable among rhesus macaques but among baboons the distribution was both skewed and kurtotic. Such difference could be either a consequence of nonrandom sampling of the gene pool in one of the species, or a consequence of species evolution. A technique of single cell hemoglobin electrophoresis was applied to erythrocytes from three adult pig-tailed macaques. This demonstrated that erythrocytes which contain Hb F (F-cells) also customarily contain Hb A and that the proportions of these two hemoglobins varies substantially among the F-cells, as we previously noted for human F-cells. We conclude that the macaques could serve as useful models for understanding Hb F regulation in the human.
Key WordsNonhuman primates Baboons Macaques Fetal hemoglobin F-cells Hemoglobin electrophoresis
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