Major Histocompatibility Complex Mhc Antigens

The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigens or the swine, dog or bovine leukocyte antigens (SLA, DLA or BoLA) are highly polymorphic, cell-surface antigens involved in antigen presentation.[4]c Class I MHC antigens are expressed on most cells, whereas class II MHC antigens are preferentially expressed on APC. The MHC genes are localized close together in the genome. Animals are usually MHC heterozygous, having two alleles at each of the multiple classes I and II genes.[3,4] Each animal expresses several class I MHC molecules, each of which is highly polymorphic. Class II genes are encoded by several linked loci, the DR and DQ alpha and beta genes. This wide diversity of MHC antigens is thought to be needed to handle the enormous number of foreign antigens that an animal encounters.

cThe international ImMunoGeneTics project (IMGT) maintains the HLA website and its IMGT/HLA Sequence Database. A related IPD/MHC sequence database website (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/ipd/mhc/index.html) will be used for MHC sequences of veterinary species.

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