1432: The Genetics of the Major Histocompatibility Complex in Canine Immune-Mediated Disease

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $50,000
Niels C Pedersen, PhD; University of California, Davis
October 7, 1997 - October 6, 1998


Breed(s): Akita
Research Program Area: Immunology and Infectious Disease
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Project Summary

In these studies, researchers mapped molecular markers in the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC), the receptors on the cell surface that present foreign proteins and trigger an immune response. This mapping was done for normal Akitas. They then applied these markers to two immune-mediated diseases in Akitas, myasthenia gravis, a muscle-related disease, and uveodermatologic disease, a depigmenting disease that affects the eyesight. The results support the assertion that restriction of variability in the canine MHC can predispose dogs to autoimmune disease. These studies investigated the role of the MHC in immune-mediated diseases, as these diseases appear to occur with increasing prevalence in purebred dogs. The ability of the immune system to determine self from non-self using the MHC is a critical process for a healthy immune response. Many of the markers developed under these studies are applicable to other breeds and provided the basis for further work to determine if similar patterns of MHC variation are seen in other breeds at risk for autoimmune disease.


Angles, J. M., Kennedy, L. J., & Pedersen, N. C. (2005). Frequency and distribution of alleles of canine MHC-II DLA-DQB1, DLA-DQA1 and DLA-DRB1 in 25 representative American Kennel Club breeds. Tissue Antigens, 66(3), 173–184. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1399-0039.2005.00461.x
Kennedy, L. J., Altet, L., Angles, J. M., Barnes, A., Carter, S. D., Francino, O., … Wagner, J. L. (2000). Nomenclature for factors of the Dog Major Histocompatibility System (DLA), 1998: first report of the ISAG DLA Nomenclature Committee. Animal Genetics, 10.

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