Molecular Biology and Evolution of Blood Group and MHC Antigens in Primates

pp 254-267

Simian-Type Blood Groups of Nonhuman Primates

  • W. W. Socha

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The study of nonhuman primate blood groups was a logical extension of human serohematology and, understandably, the first attempts to define the specificities of primate red cells were carried out using reagents originally prepared for typing human erythrocytes. The blood groups, such as ABO, MN, RhHr, Lewis, Ii, defined in that way in nonhuman primates, were called human-type blood groups and were considered to be homologues of human red cell antigens. The second category of red cell specificities included those detected by antisera specifically produced for typing primate animals and obtained either by immunizing laboratory animals (rabbit, guinea pig, mice, etc.) with the red cells of apes and monkeys or, preferably, by allo-or cross-immunizations of a monkey with red cells of an animal of the same or a closely related species. Although alloimmunizations are often time-consuming and not always productive, the resulting reagents are highly specific and free from interfering heteroagglutinins. The allo-or cross-immune antisera are, therefore, reagents of choice, as they provide the best tool for distinguishing subtle, minute differences among red cell specificities. The sera of this latter category detect the so-called simian-type blood groups,which were believed to be primate-restricted specificities of which some could be analogues of the human red cell antigens. Certain simian-type specificities, originally defined on the red cells of apes, were later detected, in polymorphic form, on human red cells as well (Socha and Moor-Jankowski 1978, 1979a).