The Molecular Basis of HLA—Disease Association

  • J. I. Bell
  • J. A. Todd
  • H. O. McDevitt
Part of the Advances in Human Genetics book series (AHUG, volume 18)


The human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has been the object of more extensive characterization than any other polymorphic system in man. This complex of loci, situated on the short arm of chromosome 6, has particularly attracted the attention of those interested in the genetic control of immune responsiveness, as these loci are essential components of most humoral and cellular responses. The observation that these loci, which had been defined as several polymorphic series by serology, represented some of the immune response (Ir) genes that had been described in the mouse by McDevitt and Tyan (1968) stimulated further effort to characterize these genes and their products fully and to define further their biological role in the immune response. A further impetus to this work came from the observation that certain MHC alleles were strongly associated with susceptibility to over 40 diseases, mostly autoimmune in nature (Stastny et al., 1983).


Rheumatoid Arthritis Major Histocompatibility Complex Celiac Disease Disease Susceptibility Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. I. Bell
    • 1
  • J. A. Todd
    • 2
  • H. O. McDevitt
    • 3
  1. 1.Nuffield Department of Clinical MedicineUniversity of Oxford John Radcliffe HospitalHeadington, OxfordUK
  2. 2.Nuffield Departments of Clinical Medicine and SurgeryUniversity of Oxford John Radcliffe HospitalHeadington, OxfordUK
  3. 3.Department of Microbiology and ImmunologyStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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