Preliminary observations of MHC class I A region polymorphism in three populations of Chinese-origin rhesus macaques

Immunogenetics. 2012 Dec;64(12):887-94. doi: 10.1007/s00251-012-0645-x. Epub 2012 Sep 2.


Rhesus macaques are an animal model for the study of a variety of human diseases. The Chinese rhesus macaques have been widely used in biomedical research in recent years. However, the polymorphism of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I A region among different local populations of Chinese rhesus macaques has never been investigated. In this study, we identified 46 Mamu-A alleles by cDNA cloning and sequencing on a cohort of 53 Chinese rhesus monkeys including Zhiming, Chuanxi, and Fujian populations, of which 5 were first reported in rhesus monkeys. The frequencies of alleles were identified for each population. The result suggests that the repertoire of allelic variants of MHC class I A region found in different populations of Chinese macaques is largely non-overlapping. The frequencies of alleles and the popular allele are also different for different populations. PCR-SSP experiment further confirms the different frequencies of two alleles, Mamu-A*026:01 and Mamu-A*022:01, in additional 99 Zhiming monkeys and 191 Chuanxi monkeys. Our findings have important practical implications in that the origin of the individuals and the genetic polymorphism of the monkeys need to be considered at the level of local populations for Chinese rhesus monkeys in biomedical research. Further immunogenetic work is needed to investigate the MHC polymorphism among different populations of Chinese rhesus macaques and to reveal the functional implication of such polymorphism and disease outcome correlations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • China
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / immunology
  • Macaca mulatta / genetics*
  • Macaca mulatta / immunology
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I