Quantitative analysis of male fetal DNA in maternal serum of gravid rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

Daniel F. Jimenez, Alice F Tarantal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The isolation of human fetal DNA from the maternal circulation has provided a source of fetal material for prenatal diagnosis. The objective of this study was to investigate whether a similar pattern could be observed in the maternal circulation of male-bearing gravid rhesus monkeys. A real-time PCR TaqMan system for the rhesus Y-chromosome sex determining region was used to determine fetal sex and to quantify fetal DNA concentrations. Results in 14 healthy pregnancies indicated that fetal male DNA could be routinely detected in maternal serum by 50 d of gestation (late first trimester; term 165 ± 10 d). Fetal DNA concentrations increased with advancing gestation, reaching a mean of 341 genome equivalents/mL of serum (range 11-1570 copies/mL) in the last trimester of gestation, similar to findings in humans. The fetal DNA concentration corresponded to 2.7% of the total maternal serum DNA in the third trimester. Similar to findings in humans, male fetal DNA sequences were not detected postpartum (through 4 wk postpartum) or in animals with a previous history of delivering male offspring. These data indicate that fetal male DNA is present in the maternal circulation of gravid rhesus monkeys comparable to findings in humans and further support the use of this nonhuman primate species as a model to investigate fetomaternal cell trafficking and microchimerism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)18-23
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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