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J Immunogenet. 1986 Aug;13(4):349-60.

Equine T lymphocytes express MHC class II antigens.


Six anti-HLA class II mouse monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were used in conjunction with a rat monoclonal antibody raised against horse lymphocytes to define class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules in the horse. By utilizing an ELISA assay and complement dependent lymphocytotoxicity assay, five out of the six anti-HLA class II antibodies and the rat anti-horse monoclonal antibody were found to react with a high percentage of peripheral blood lymphocytes. Flow cytometry demonstrated a variable antigen density on peripheral blood lymphocytes and clear evidence for expression by lymphocytes that carried no detectable surface immunoglobulin. None of the antibodies reacted with equine platelets. The mAbs immunoprecipitated an antigenic complex of Mr 29,000-33,000 from horse lymphocytes. It appears that the distribution of MHC class II antigens in the horse is different from that in man but is similar to that in the dog, since MHC class II antigens are expressed on resting peripheral blood lymphocytes which lack membrane-bound immunoglobulins. Correlations between the distribution of MHC class II antigens on lymphocyte subpopulations and their role in immunological phenomena may contribute to our understanding of the functional properties of these molecules.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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