To provide a basis for beginning to explore the CD94/NKG2 family of molecules in rhesus monkeys, we sought to characterize the expression of these inhibitory and activating cell signalling molecules in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy rhesus monkeys. We developed and employed a semiquantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay to evaluate mRNA expression levels of nine NKG2 molecules in PBMCs from the monkeys. In addition to quantitating NKG2A, NKG2B, NKG2C2, NKG2C and NKG2D expression, mRNA expression of transmembrane-deleted forms of these molecules was also evaluated. Significant variability in NKG2 mRNA expression in the PBMCs was detected, with 15 unique NKG2 expression level profiles detected in a study of 15 monkeys. We also found that the ratio of the expressed levels of mRNA of the four NKG2 splice variants, NKG2A, NKG2B, NKG2ADeltatm, and NKG2BDeltatm, was variable between the monkeys as well as in an individual monkey over a period of 1.5 years. These findings indicate the dynamic nature of NKG2 mRNA expression in the rhesus monkey.