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Hum Immunol. 1998 Mar;59(3):189-97.

HLA-DP epitope typing using monoclonal antibodies.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Canada.


We have made a panel of murine anti-DP monoclonal antibodies for serological typing of HLA-DP polymorphisms; they can be used in microcytotoxicity (for 7 epitopes) and binding assays (for 8 epitopes). The antibodies detect polymorphic differences in both alpha and beta chains. As immunogens we sometimes used B-lymphoblastoid lines or purified DP molecules but mostly used mouse fibroblast transfectants expressing DP molecules. The DP beta genes were made from a cloned DPB1*0201 gene by replacing its major area of polymorphism with matching stretches of DNA amplified from other alleles; cloned DPA1*01 and DPA1*02 genes were used for transfection along with the beta chain genes. The monoclonal antibodies showed reaction patterns that correlated with the presence of particular amino-acid sequence motifs; thus none of the antibodies is allele-specific. They bind instead to epitopes which are found on a number of different HLA-DP types. We have constructed frequency tables so that the epitope (motif) data can be interpreted as the most likely genotype in each case. The basic assumption to justify this work is that HLA-DP matching or mismatching will likely influence transplant outcome, particularly in bone marrow transplantation. The present challenge is to define permissive and nonpermissive combinations of HLA-DP; it may be that matching for epitopes, rather than for full alleles, will help to resolve this issue.

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