The major histocompatibility complex

  • Miroslav Ferenčík


It has long been known that the fate of transplanted foreign cells, tissues and organs depends on genetic factors. Basic experiments concerning this problem were performed in laboratory animals, particularly in mice. The genetic basis of tissue incompatibility (histoincompatibility) was demonstrated in inbred animal strains. These are homogeneous animal lines, generated by repeated crossing of brothers and sisters or parents and their progeny over many generations. When the transfer of tissue is performed between individuals of various inbred strains, the graft is generally rejected. Similarly, rejection occurs after tissue transplantation between individuals of normal non-inbred (outbred) populations, e.g. in the human population. On the other hand, grafts transferred between individuals of the inbred line or between monozygotic twins in man, survive permanently. It has been shown that particular antigens are responsible for tissue compatibility (histocompatibility) or incompatibility (histoincompatibility) and determine rejection or survival of the graft. These antigens are products of histocompatibility genes and are therefore called histocompatibility antigens.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Transmembrane Segment Histocompatibility Antigen Outer Domain Mixed Lymphocyte Culture 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miroslav Ferenčík
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Immunology, Faculty of MedicineComenius UniversityBratislavaCzechoslovakia

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