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Immunogenetics. 1997;46(1):53-62.

On naming H2 haplotypes: functional significance of MHC class Ib alleles.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Microbiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-9050, USA.


George D. Snell began defining and naming the H2 haplotypes many years ago by histogenetic typing. Since then, a few haplotypes have been given an additional letter, such as bc for strain 129, to show that they are minor variants from the prototype (b). But by and large, differences in nonclassical class I antigens have been known (only?) to those in the field without being acknowledged by a separate haplotype symbol. Thus, strains BALB/c and NZB/BlNJ are both considered H2d and strains C3H/HeJ and B10.BR are both called H2k, although each pair differs in the TL and Qa1 antigens. In parallel with the interest in nonclassical class I antigens, the need for an appropriate haplotype nomenclature is growing. The haplotypes that require splitting are b, d, k, q, and s; the symbol bc should be retained and used, and, for the other haplotypes, the suffix 2 denotes a Qa1a haplotype with highly TL-positive thymocytes.

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