, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 13–23 | Cite as

Limited MHC class II gene polymorphism in the West African chimpanzee is distributed maximally by haplotype diversity

  • Nel OttingEmail author
  • Natasja G. de Groot
  • Ronald E. Bontrop
Original Article


Chimpanzees have been used for some time as an animal model in research on immune-related diseases in humans. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region of the chimpanzee has also been the subject of studies in which the attention was mainly on the class I genes. Although full-length sequence information is available on the DRB region genes, such detailed information is lacking for the other class II genes and, if present, is based mainly on exon 2 sequences. In the present study, full-length sequencing was performed on DQ, DP, and DRA genes in a cohort of 67 pedigreed animals, thereby allowing a thorough analysis of the MHC class II repertoire. The results demonstrate that the number of MHC class II lineages and alleles is relatively low, whereas haplotype diversity (combination of genes/alleles on a chromosome) seems to have been maximised by crossing-over processes.


Chimpanzee MHC Nonhuman primates 



The authors wish to thank F. van Hassel for preparing the figures and D.M. Devine for editing this manuscript.

Supplementary material

251_2018_1080_MOESM1_ESM.docx (66 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 65 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nel Otting
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Natasja G. de Groot
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ronald E. Bontrop
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Comparative Genetics and RefinementBiomedical Primate Research CentreRijswijkThe Netherlands
  2. 2.IPD-MHC database Nonhuman Primate Nomenclature CommitteeRijswijkThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Biology, Theoretical Biology and BioinformaticsUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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