Interest in the Ir genes of rheus monkeys stems from their phylogenetic relationship to man and the extensive data already available on the major histocompatibility complex of the monkey. At least two independent dominant H-linked Ir genes have been identified in the rhesus. These genes control the ability of monkeys to respond to the random linear copolymer of glutamyl alanine (GA), or the dinitrophenyl conjugate of glutamyl lysine (DNP-GL). These synthetic polymers can elicit weak delayed-type skin reactions and strong humoral responses in some monkeys. In a series of unrelated monkeys phenotyped for the serologically defined RhL-A specificities of both segregant series, there were no correlations between any RhL-A specificity and responder status to the GA or DNP-GL polymers. However, segregation analysis of 21 rhesus families sired by 3 fathers indicated the capacity of the offspring to form antibodies was associated with genes coded for in the RhL-A complex. In three monkeys, verified recombination within the RhL-A complex between the genes coding for the serologically defined determinants (SD loci) and the gene(s) controlling the lymphocyte-activating determinants (Lad loci) responsible for mixed lymphocyte reactivity was established. In two of these monkeys the immune response genes controlling the DNP-GL response segregated with the Lad genes, while in the third case the Ir-GL gene segregated with the SD loci, tentatively localizing the Ir-GL gene between the SD and Lad loci. In addition, we have shown that genetically distinct genes control responsiveness to DNP-GL and GA. These genes were separated by recombination, thus one monkey inherited the Lad, Ir-GL, and SD loci from one paternal haplotype and by crossing over inherited the gene controlling GA responsiveness from the other paternal haplotype. The fine structure mapping of the RhL-A gene complex is compared with the H-2 and HL-A gene complexes. Several striking similarities were noted.

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