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Clin Transl Immunology. 2016 Jul 22;5(7):e93. doi: 10.1038/cti.2016.42. eCollection 2016 Jul.

Repertoire comparison of the B-cell receptor-encoding loci in humans and rhesus macaques by next-generation sequencing.

Author information

1
Center for Infectious Disease Research (formerly Seattle BioMed) , Seattle, WA, USA.
2
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Viral and Infectious Disease Division , Seattle, WA, USA.
3
Mazama Science , Seattle, WA, USA.

Abstract

Rhesus macaques (RMs) are a widely used model system for the study of vaccines, infectious diseases and microbial pathogenesis. Their value as a model lies in their close evolutionary relationship to humans, which, in theory, allows them to serve as a close approximation of the human immune system. However, despite their prominence as a human surrogate model system, many aspects of the RM immune system remain ill characterized. In particular, B cell-mediated immunity in macaques has not been sufficiently characterized, and the B-cell receptor-encoding loci have not been thoroughly annotated. To address these gaps, we analyzed the circulating heavy- and light-chain repertoires in humans and RMs by next-generation sequencing. By comparing V gene segment usage, J-segment usage and CDR3 lengths between the two species, we identified several important similarities and differences. These differences were especially notable in the IgM(+) B-cell repertoire. However, the class-switched, antigen-educated B-cell populations converged on a set of similar characteristics, implying similarities in how each species responds to antigen. Our study provides the first comprehensive overview of the circulating repertoires of the heavy- and light-chain sequences in RMs, and provides insight into how they may perform as a model system for B cell-mediated immunity in humans.

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