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Trends Immunol. 2005 Sep;26(9):496-502.

Female choice and the MHC.

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  • 1Institut für Immungenetik, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 14050 Berlin, Germany.


In animals, it is the female that typically selects a mating partner. This decision can occur before, during and after copulation. Here, recent evidence for the involvement of genes within the MHC in female choice is reviewed and the roles of MHC I and II antigens, various types of chemoreceptors, as well as MHC-encoded transcription factors, in securing an optimal genetic constitution of the offspring are discussed. Some particularly interesting and as yet unanswered questions are raised and some experiments that could provide deeper insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying female choice are suggested.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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