Lymphocyte subsets and expression of differentiation markers in blood and lymphoid organs of rhesus monkeys

Cytometry. 1997 Dec 1;29(4):351-62.


Rhesus macaques are invaluable experimental animals in biomedical research. Using three color flow cytometry, we screened anti-human antibodies for crossreactivity with macaque cells in order to determine the distribution of functionally important lymphocyte subsets in blood, lymph nodes (LN), and spleen. NK-cells are almost completely absent in LN. The percentage of B-cells expressing CD80, CD86, and the level of expression of CD20 is higher in blood than in LN. In contrast, a higher proportion of B-cells in LN stains positive for CD21 and CD35. Whereas the number of CD29hi expressing T-cells is lower, CD69 is expressed on more T-cells in LN than in blood. About one-third of CD8+ T-cells in blood are CD28-, a subset with a unique pattern of antigen expression which cannot be found in LN. In contrast to humans, a relatively high proportion of T-cells in blood also express the co-stimulatory molecules CD80 and CD86. With increasing age, the proportion of B-cells in blood declines, whereas the percentage of T-cells rises. In addition, the proportion of CD29hi expressing T-cells increases among both the CD4+ and CD8+ subsets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Biomarkers
  • Blood*
  • Cross Reactions
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • Lymphoid Tissue / cytology
  • Lymphoid Tissue / metabolism*
  • Macaca mulatta / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, CD
  • Biomarkers