Screening and confirmatory testing of MHC class I alleles in pig-tailed macaques

Immunogenetics. 2011 Aug;63(8):511-21. doi: 10.1007/s00251-011-0529-5. Epub 2011 May 10.


Pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina) are a commonly studied primate model of human AIDS. The Mane-A1*084:01 MHC class I allele (previously named Mane-A*10) is important for the control of SIV infection by CD8+ T cells in this model. Validated methods to detect this allele in large numbers of macaques are lacking. We studied this MHC allele using sequence-specific PCRs in 217 pig-tailed macaques and identified 75 (35%) positive animals. We then performed massively parallel pyrosequencing with a universal 568-bp MHC class I cDNA-PCR amplicon for 50 of these 75 macaques. All 50 animals expressed Mane-A1*084:01 or closely related variants of the Mane-A1*084 lineage. Mane-A1*084 transcripts accounted for an average of 20.9% of all class I sequences identified per animal. SIV infection of a subset of these macaques resulted in the induction of SIV-specific CD8+ T cell responses detected by Mane-A1*084:01 tetramers. An average of 19 distinct class I transcripts were identified per animal by pyrosequencing. This analysis revealed 89 new Mane class I sequences as well as 32 previously described sequences that were extended with the longer amplicons employed in the current study. In addition, multiple Mane class I haplotypes that had been inferred previously based on shared transcript profiles between unrelated animals were confirmed for a subset of animals where pedigree information was available. We conclude that sequence-specific PCR is useful to screen pig-tailed macaques for Mane-A1*084:01, although pyrosequencing permits a much broader identification of the repertoire of MHC class I sequences and haplotypes expressed by individual animals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Genes, MHC Class I*
  • Genotype
  • Macaca nemestrina / genetics*
  • Macaca nemestrina / immunology