Zoo 317 Heredity, Evolution and Society

Lecture 30 Cummings 15: pp 366-370

I. ABO blood groups.

II. Rh blood groups.

III. Major histocompatibility complex

IV. Organ transplantation.


Page 368, paragraph 3: "...HLA complex consists of four neighboring genes..." HLA-D is itself a complex of Class II genes that contains three gene clusters. See III.D.

Page 369, paragraph 4: "...it is rare that anyone will be genetically identical to anyone else for the HLA genes." Except sibs. See III.E.

I. The ABO blood groups were the first antigens to be discovered on red blood cells (1900). Indeed, their discovery was a major landmark in the development of both immunology and genetics and provided the basis for understanding the rules that govern blood transfusions.

II. The Rh blood groups are an important clinical problem.

III. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is a gene complex that is primarily responsible for inability to transplant tissues and organs from one individual to another.

IV. Just as in skin transplants among mice, the MHC is the principal antigenic barrier to transplant of organs in humans. Ideally, an organ is transplanted only if all the antigens match between donor and recipient. In practice, this ideal is rarely achieved. Organ rejection is managed by drugs that suppress the immune system (but not too much!).

 ABO blood groups  blood group compatibility lyse
Rh blood groups  hemolytic disease of newborn   major histocompatibility complex 
isogenic human leukocyte antigens glycoproteins
haplotype graft-versus-host disease xenotransplant

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last revision: 1 November 1999
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