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Immunogenetics. 2004 Jul;56(4):280-91. Epub 2004 Jul 16.

MHC class IIB gene sequences and expression in quails (Coturnix japonica) selected for high and low antibody responses.

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Department of Molecular Life Science, Division of Basic Medical Science and Molecular Medicine, Tokai University School of Medicine, Bohseidai, Isehara-shi, 259-1193 Kanagawa, Japan.


Two quail lines, H and L, which were developed for high (H) and low (L) antibody production against inactivated Newcastle disease virus antigen, were used to examine differences in the organization, structure and expression of the quail Mhc class IIB genes. Four Coja class IIB genes in the H line and ten Coja class IIB genes in the L line were identified by gene amplification using standard and long-range PCRs and sequencing of the amplified products. RFLP analysis, sequencing and gene mapping revealed that the H line was fixed for a single class IIB haplotype, which we have designated CojaII-02HL- CojaII-01HL. In contrast, evidence was found for two class IIB haplotypes segregating in the L line. Some individuals were found to be homozygous for haplotype CojaII-08L- CojaII-07L and others were found to be heterozygous CojaII-08L- CojaII-07L/ CojaII-02HL- CojaII-01HL. However, expression of CojaII-02HL- CojaII-01HL was not detected in the L line. SRBC immunization induced a measurable antibody response in the serum and a line-specific class IIB gene expression in the peripheral white blood cells. CojaII-01HL was expressed at the highest level in the H line and CojaII-07L in the L line. The expression of the class IIB mRNA reached the highest level at approximately 1 week after the primary antibody response and then declined exponentially. The antibody and class IIB gene expression data obtained in response to SRBC immunization provide further evidence that quails within the L line had reduced immunocompetence compared with those in the H line.

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