Immunogenetics

, Volume 56, Issue 11, pp 846–848

An immunogenetic basis for the high prevalence of urogenital cancer in a free-ranging population of California sea lions (Zalophus californianus)

  • Lizabeth Bowen
  • Brian M. Aldridge
  • Robert DeLong
  • Sharon Melin
  • Elizabeth L. Buckles
  • Frances Gulland
  • Linda J. Lowenstine
  • Jeffrey L. Stott
  • Michael L. Johnson
Brief Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s00251-004-0757-z

Cite this article as:
Bowen, L., Aldridge, B.M., DeLong, R. et al. Immunogenetics (2005) 56: 846. doi:10.1007/s00251-004-0757-z

Abstract

In response to an unprecedented prevalence of cancer recently identified in free-ranging populations of California sea lions [(CSL) (Zalophus californianus], we examined the role of the immunologically important major histocompatibility (MHC) genes in this disease epidemic. Associations between MHC genes and cancer have been well established in humans, but have never before been investigated in wildlife. Using a previously developed technique employing sequence-specific primer-based PCR with intercalating dye technology, MHC genotypes were examined from 27 cancer-positive and 22 cancer-negative CSL stranded along the California coastline. Analyses elucidated an underlying immunogenetic component to the high prevalence of urogenital cancer in sea lions. Furthermore, these results demonstrate the functional relevance of CSL class II MHC by revealing a non-random nature of cancer susceptibility associated with the presence of specific genes.

Keywords

Major histocompatibility complexCalifornia sea lionUrogenital carcinoma

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lizabeth Bowen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Brian M. Aldridge
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Robert DeLong
    • 5
  • Sharon Melin
    • 5
  • Elizabeth L. Buckles
    • 1
  • Frances Gulland
    • 4
  • Linda J. Lowenstine
    • 1
  • Jeffrey L. Stott
    • 1
  • Michael L. Johnson
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory for Marine Mammal Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pathology, Microbiology and ImmunologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.John Muir Institute of the EnvironmentUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.School of Veterinary MedicineWestern Health Sciences UniversityPomonaUSA
  4. 4.The Marine Mammal CenterSausalitoUSA
  5. 5.National Marine Mammal LaboratoryNMFS, NOAASeattleUSA