The use of Chinese-origin rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) for infectious disease immunity research is increasing despite the relative lack of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I immunogenetics information available for this population. We determined transcript-based MHC class I haplotypes for 385 Chinese rhesus macaques from five different experimental cohorts, providing a concise representation of the full complement of MHC class I major alleles expressed by each animal. In total, 123 Mamu-A and Mamu-B haplotypes were defined in the full Chinese rhesus macaque cohort. We then performed an analysis of haplotype frequencies across the experimental cohorts of Chinese rhesus macaques, as well as a comparison against a group of 96 Indian rhesus macaques. Notably, 35 of the 51 Mamu-A and Mamu-B haplotypes observed in Indian rhesus macaques were also detected in the Chinese population, with 85% of the 385 Chinese-origin rhesus macaques expressing at least one of these class I haplotypes. This unexpected conservation of Indian rhesus macaque MHC class I haplotypes in the Chinese rhesus macaque population suggests that immunologic insights originally gleaned from studies using Indian rhesus macaques may be more applicable to Chinese rhesus macaques than previously appreciated and may provide an opportunity for studies of CD8+ T-cell responses between populations. It may also be possible to extend these studies across multiple species of macaques, as we found evidence of shared ancestral haplotypes between Chinese rhesus and Mauritian cynomolgus macaques. © 2013 Karl et al.
Karl, J. A., Bohn, P. S., Wiseman, R. W., Nimityongskul, F. A., Lank, S. M., Starrett, G. J., & O’Connor, D. H. (2013). Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I Haplotype Diversity in Chinese Rhesus Macaques. G3&#58; Genes|Genomes|Genetics, 3(7), 1195–1201. https://doi.org/10.1534/g3.113.006254