Recently it has been shown that the gene-density correlated radial distribution of human 18 and 19 homologous chromosome territories (CTs) is conserved in higher primates in spite of chromosomal rearrangements that occurred during evolution. However, these observations were limited to apes and New World monkey species. In order to provide further evidence for the evolutionary conservation of gene-density-correlated CT arrangements, we extended our previous study to Old World monkeys. They comprise the remaining species group to be analyzed in order to obtain a comprehensive overview of the nuclear topology of human 18 and 19 homologous CTs in higher primates. In the present study we investigated four lymphoblastoid cell lines from three species of Old World monkeys by three-dimensional fluorescence in situ hybridization (3D-FISH): two individuals of Japanese macaque ( Macaca fuscata), crab-eating macaque ( Macaca fascicularis), and an interspecies hybrid individual between African green monkey (Cercopithecus aethiops) and Patas monkey ( Erythrocebus patas). Our data demonstrate that gene-poor human 18 homologous CTs are located preferentially close to the nuclear periphery, whereas gene-dense human 19 homologous CTs are oriented towards the nuclear center in all cell lines analyzed. The gene-density-correlated positioning of human 18 and 19 homologous CTs is evolutionarily conserved throughout all major higher primate lineages, despite chromosomal inversions, fusions, fissions or reciprocal translocations that occurred in the course of evolution in these species. This remarkable preservation of a gene-density-correlated chromatin arrangement gives further support for a functionally relevant higher-order chromatin architecture. Copyright (C) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.