About the Rhesus Monkey (or Rhesus Macaque)
The rhesus macaque is one of the most commonly utilized non-human primates in biomedical research. According to some researchers, these monkeys are ideal models due to the 90-93% genetic similarity to and recent evolutionary divergence from humans. They are employed in numerous research areas, such as immunology, neuroscience, oncology, diabetes, and pharmacology due to their genetics and physiology.
Rhesus Macaque Monkey NK Cells
Rhesus NK cells make up approximately 2-18% of PBMCs in a typical adult monkey. These cells carry activating and inhibitory molecules that influence their activation status.
When activated, NK cells can lyse infected or transformed cells through natural cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC).
NK Cell Application Summary
Purified Rhesus NK cells are a good source of cells to study the biology of NK cells and their role in the immune system. They can be used for a variety of stimulation-dependent functional experiments to assess cytokine production and cytotoxicity.
With the current trend toward development of immuno-modulatory drugs, NK cells are an ideal source of cells to test cytotoxicity and cytokine production in the presence of therapeutic molecules. More importantly, NK cells can be used to assess toxicity and safety characteristics of these biologics in the presence of NK cell activation before first in-human trials. These cells are commonly employed in pre-clinical settings to ensure biologics are not eliciting unwanted functions, specifically from NK cells.
The positive isolation method of NK cells may lead to internalization of the marker that was used to isolate the cells. In most cases, these markers are only used for identification purposes and may not have any effect on function, but it will depend on the organism and function. Therefore, cells isolated using this method may be employed for functional or population characterization studies with the knowledge that the isolation marker may be internalized and not present.
NK Cell Purification
Collection of samples
Rhesus PBMCs were sourced from a responsible third party vendor that operate according to local regulations and laws.
Magnetic Positive Isolation of Rhesus NK cells
To purify rhesus NK cells, PBMCs were incubated with antibodies against an NK cell-specific marker, which will vary depending on the species of the organism, and subsequently passed through a magnetic column. The cells that pass through are the non-NK cells, which can be used for other purposes, while the labeled NK cells are left bound to the column. These cells are subsequently eluted to obtain purified NK cells.
Cryopreservation and storage
Purified NK cells were cryopreserved carefully using iQ Biosciences’ cryopreservation protocol that ensures high viability (> 90%) after thawing.
Cells should be stored at < -120 °C once they are received, such as within a liquid nitrogen tank (vapor phase).