Human Histocompatibility Antigens

  • Ralph A. Reisfeld
  • Barry D. Kahan

Abstract

Transplantation antigens are genetically segregating, cell surface markers which trigger an immune response by the host following the grafting of foreign tissues. The hypothesis that transplants are destroyed by an immunological reaction is based upon Medawar’s demonstration of specific accelerated rejection of repeat tissue grafts derived from the original donors, i.e., the second-set phenomenon (Medawar, 1963). Allografting thus causes the host to recognize a set of cellular antigens which distinguish him from the graft donor. These polymorphic antigenic specificities constitute an allotypic system under the control of genetic loci. In most species, there is a single histocompatibility locus controlling the rapid rejection of allografts: H-2 of mice, B locus of chickens, Ag–B of rats, C-LA of chimpanzees, D-LA of dogs, and HL-A of man (Ceppellini et al., 1967; Dausset et al., 1970). The strong loci code for a mosaic of serological specificities. One proposal organizes the alleleic specificities into two subloci: one consisting of HL-A1,2,3,9,10,11 and the other of HLA5,7,8,12,13 (Dausset et al.,1969). Although the two–subloci concept is consistent with the serological data from family studies, it fails to explain (1) the inheritance of the widespread, broad specificities, e.g., 4a,4b,6a,6b, and (2) the production of antibodies directed either against specificities present in the host or absent from the immunizing cell (Batchelor and Selwood, 1970). Although several alternative inheritance patterns have been recently discussed, it is anticipated that the genetic mechanisms will be apparent once the chemical structure of the geneproduct transplantation antigens is elucidated. In spite of these theoretical uncertainties, there is a definite correlation between HL-A phenotypes and tissue graft survival. A match of the antigenic determinants of donor and host provides a better chance of transplant survival.

Keywords

Antigenic Determinant Histocompatibility Antigen Antigenic Activity Transplantation Antigen Sonic Energy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph A. Reisfeld
    • 1
  • Barry D. Kahan
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Experimental PathologyScripps Clinic and Research FoundationLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA

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