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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 1994 Jul;42(1):3-60.

Report of the First International Workshop on Equine Leucocyte Antigens, Cambridge, UK, July 1991.

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  • 1Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, Equine Fertility Unit, Mertoun Paddocks, Newmarket, UK.


The First International Workshop on Equine Leucocyte Antigens was organized and convened for the purposes of identifying immunologically relevant cell surface molecules of equine leucocytes and establishing a system of nomenclature for those molecules. Participating members of the workshop represented the majority of laboratories world-wide engaged in the tasks of production and characterization of equine leucocyte and lymphocyte markers using monoclonal antibodies. The workshop confirmed the identification of several equine CD molecules described previously by individual laboratories, and in addition recognized antibodies identifying new CD molecules. The workshop also succeeded in fostering co-operation between laboratories around the world which study equine immunobiology. Equine CD molecules identified by the current battery of monoclonal antibodies include EqCD2, EqCD4, EqCD5, EqCD8, EqCD11a/18, EqCD13 and EqCD44. Other antibodies are markers for MHC class I and class II molecules, for B cells, granulocytes, macrophages, T cell subsets distinct from those defined by CD4 and CD8, and other sub-populations of horse leucocytes that do not have obvious counterparts in humans, rodents, or other species. Despite the progress made in the first workshop, there are still substantial gaps in the armory of reagents available to study equine leucocyte biology, and further definition of the structure, function, and genetics of the antigens identified by the workshop clusters (WC1, WC2 etc.) and other molecules of immunological importance will be a goal of future workshops. The study of equine immunobiology and resistance to disease also urgently requires the development of tools to study equine immunoglobulins and cytokines, and these needs will provide ample scope for future studies.

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