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Minor H antigens: genes and peptides

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In this review, we describe the evidence from which the existence of non-MHC histocompatibility (H) antigens was deduced, the clinical setting of bone marrow transplantation in which they are important targets for T-cell responses, and the current understanding of their molecular identity. We list the peptide epitopes of the human and murine minor H antigens now identified at the molecular level, their MHC restriction molecules and the genes encoding them. Identification of the peptide epitopes allows T-cell responses to these antigens following transplantation of MHC-matched, minor H-mismatched tissues to be enumerated using tetramers and elispot assays. This will facilitate analysis of correlations with host-versus-graft (HVG), graft-versus-host (GVH) and graft-versus-leukaemia (GVL) reactions in vivo. The potential to use minor H peptides to modulate in vivo responses to minor H antigens is discussed. Factors controlling immunodominance of T-cell responses to one or a few of many potential minor H antigens remain to be elucidated but are important for making predictions of in vivo HVG, GVH and GVL responses and tailoring therapy after HLA-matched bone marrow transplantation and donor lymphocyte infusion.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2001

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