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Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and MHC Disparity

by Peter Delves, PhD
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    There are a number of different gene products that contribute towards graft rejection that are seen as foreign by the recipient. By far the most important is the major histocompatibility complex. It’s a complex of genes that encode these proteins. They’re involved in histocompatibility, in other words tissue compatibility. And they’re the most important, hence the name MHC - major histocompatibility complex. We inherit from our parents three MHC Class I genes - HLA-A, HLA-B and HLA-C. The product of these genes are present on all nucleated cells. MHC Class II comprises HLA-DP, -DQ and -DR. The products of these genes are present on dendritic cells, macrophages, B-cells and thymic epithelium. This is in addition to the MHC Class I molecules because of course dendritic cells, macrophages, B-cells and thymic epithelium are nucleated cells. And all nucleated cells have Class I. So these particular cells have both Class II and Class I. The MHC is present on chromosome 6. And we inherit one set of genes from our mother and one set of genes from our father. So we’re-- here we have the HLA-A locus on the maternally inherited chromosome. And this particular individual has the variant of HLA-A called A1. And at the B locus, they have the variant B7. The genes from the paternal chromosome will also be expressed because these genes are co-dominantly expressed. And this individual has inherited HLA-A28 from the father and also HLA-B14 from the father. And of course there’ll be the HLA-C and the Class II genes present on the professional antigen presenting cells that we just mentioned - dendritic cells, macrophages, B-cells, thymic epithelium. So this individual will be HLA Class I type A1, A28, B7 and B14. The MHC gene complex is by far the most polymorphic gene complex that we...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and MHC Disparity by Peter Delves, PhD is from the course Transplantation Immunology. It contains the following chapters:

    • A Closer Look at the Major Histocompatibility Complex
    • MHC Disparity between Individuals

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. HLA-B
    2. HLA-A
    3. HLA-C
    4. HLA-DQ
    5. HLA-DR
    1. Red Blood Cell
    2. Macrophages
    3. B cells
    4. Dendritic Cells
    5. Monocyte
    1. DP, DQ, and DR α chains are equally polymorphic
    2. Genes are located on chromosome 6
    3. Genes from maternal and paternal MHC are codominantly expressed
    4. Beta-2 microglobulin of MHC Class I is non-polymorphic
    5. β chain of DR is the most polymorphic region on MHC Class II
    1. The higher the number of mismatches, the lower the chance of long term survival
    2. The higher the number of mismatches, the higher the chance of graft acceptance
    3. The higher the number of mismatches, the lower the chance of chronic rejection
    4. The lower the number of mismatches, the lower the chance of long term survival
    5. Number of mismatches has no effect on long term survival

    Author of lecture Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and MHC Disparity

     Peter Delves, PhD

    Peter Delves, PhD


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