Molecular Typing of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Alleles in the Indian Rhesus Macaque Which Restrict SIV CD8+ T Cell Epitopes

Immunogenetics. 2007 Sep;59(9):693-703. doi: 10.1007/s00251-007-0233-7. Epub 2007 Jul 20.


The utility of the rhesus macaque as an animal model in both HIV vaccine development and pathogenesis studies necessitates the development of accurate and efficient major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotyping technologies. In this paper, we describe the development and application of allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification for the simultaneous detection of eight MHC class I alleles from the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) of Indian descent. These alleles were selected, as they have been implicated in the restriction of CD8(+) T cell epitopes of simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). Molecular typing of Mamu-A 01, Mamu-A 02, Mamu-A 08, Mamu-A 11, Mamu-B 01, Mamu-B 03, Mamu-B 04, and Mamu-B 17 was conducted in a high throughput fashion using genomic DNA. Our amplification strategy included a conserved internal control target to minimize false negative results and can be completed in less than 5 h. We have genotyped over 4,000 animals to establish allele frequencies from colonies all over the western hemisphere. The ability to identify MHC-defined rhesus macaques will greatly enhance investigation of the immune responses, which are responsible for the control of viral replication. Furthermore, application of this technically simple and accurate typing method should facilitate selection, utilization, and breeding of rhesus macaques for AIDS virus pathogenesis and vaccine studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / genetics
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Simian Immunodeficiency Virus / immunology*


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I