Immune effects of chicken non-MHC alloantigens1

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Alloantigen systems are a broad group of molecules found on various cell types, including erythrocytes and lymphocytes. These alloantigens, identified via specific polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies or molecular methods, have demonstrated effects on immune responses. Erythrocyte alloantigens include the A, B, C, D, E, H, I, J, K, L, N, P, and R systems. Highly polymorphic alloantigen B has been identified as the chicken major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The other twelve systems have a variable degree of polymorphism as well as impact on immune measurements or responses against pathogens. Selection for immune characters altered allele frequencies for particular alloantigen systems. Three lymphocyte alloantigens, Bu-1, Ly-4 and Th-1 have more limited polymorphism but still influence responses against viral pathogens, Rous sarcoma virus and Marek's disease. Together, these erythrocyte and lymphocyte systems contribute to the overall immunity. Identification of the specific alloantigen proteins remains crucial to understanding their immune contribution.

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