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J Med Primatol. 2001 Feb;30(1):36-45.

Identification of primitive hematopoietic progenitor cells in the rhesus macaque.

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Division of Immunology, New England Regional Primate Research Center, Harvard Medical School, Southborough, MA 01772, USA.


The close phylogenetic relationship of macaques to humans has resulted in their widespread use as a preclinical model for bone marrow transplantation and stem cell gene therapy. To facilitate further use of this model, we undertook analysis of hematopoietic cells using multiparametric flow cytometric analysis. Rhesus CD34+CD38- cells displayed a number of characteristics of primitive hematopoietic cells, including low forward and orthogonal scatter and the lack of expression of lineage-specific markers or human lymphocyte antigen-DR. Four-color flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that rhesus CD34+CD38- cells were heterogenous with respect to Thy-1 expression and were CD59dim. Quantitative limiting dilution long-term culture-initiating cell (LTC-IC) analysis demonstrated that CD34+CD38- cells were approximately 150-fold enriched for LTC-IC as compared with unfractionated bone marrow, and occurred at a frequency similar to that previously reported in humans. Thus, as in humans, the CD34+38- population of rhesus macaque bone marrow is enriched for primitive, multipotent hematopoietic progenitor cells.

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