Submitted to: Transplantation Immunology
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 1994
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This review article, for a textbook for scientists active in the transplantation field, is an update on the status of the swine major histocompatibility complex. This complex became known because it encodes the set of genes that determine whether tissue (kidney, bone marrow) transplants will be accepted or rejected. More recently, it became clear that this complex of genes encodes the cell proteins that tell the body's immune system to respond to self and to foreign antigens, e.g., the flu virus or a vaccine. The swine major histocompatibility complex is referred to as the swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) complex. This manuscript reviews the genes that are known to map to the SLA complex, the inbred lines of pigs that have been bred to homozygosity at this complex, and the results of tissue transplantation using one set of these inbred pigs, the NIH minipigs. It also compares the SLA complex to the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex to show how similar the pig is to the human. Scientists using the swine as a model for transplantation will find that this review will update them on the new developments in this complex area of swine genetics and the importance of the SLA genes for transplantation success.
As transplantation immunologists expand their knowledge of the complex factors that regulate tissue transplantation responses it has become increasingly apparent that genes within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) play a central role in the regulating these responses due to their central role in processing and presentation of foreign and self antigens for effective immune responses. This review is intended to update the scientist active in the transplantation field on the current knowledge of the swine leukocyte antigen (SLA) complex: its genomic structure, the expression of SLA antigens in different tissues, and the role of SLA genes in regulating transplant responses.