We identified recently a novel major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I locus in the rhesus monkey, Mamu-AG, which is expressed in the placenta and encodes molecules that share unique characteristics of human HLA-G. We established locus-specific reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and ribonuclease protection assays to determine whether Mamu-AG is expressed in other rhesus monkey tissues. With an RT-PCR assay, Mamu-AG mRNA was detected in placenta, amniotic membranes, kidney, spleen, eye, brain, lung, spinal cord, liver and occasionally heart, but was undetectable in lymph nodes, salivary glands, peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL), large and small intestine, skeletal muscle or skin. Examination of endocrine organs demonstrated the presence of Mamu-AG transcripts in pituitary, testes, ovary and adrenal glands but not in pancreas or thyroid. Quantitative analysis using a ribonuclease protection assay demonstrated that the highest level of Mamu-AG mRNA expression was consistently in the placenta and amniotic membranes, while expression was moderate in a few tissues (testis, adrenal) and low to undetectable in all other tissues. These results suggest that the Mamu-AG mRNA, like the mRNA for the human MHC class Ib gene HLA-G, is expressed at high levels in the placenta, but also has restricted low-level expression in other tissues.
- Maternal-fetal immune tolerance
- MHC class I
- Nonhuman primate
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology