Evidence for extensive DLA polymorphism in different dog populations

L. J. Kennedy, A. Barnes, G. M. Happ, R. J. Quinnell, O. Courtenay, S. D. Carter, W. E R Ollier, W. Thomson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Many of the genes within the Canine Major Histocompatibility Complex are highly polymorphic. Most of the alleles defined to date for DLA-DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1 come from the analysis of European or North American pure bred dogs. Little is known about DLA gene polymorphisms in other dog populations. We have studied Alaskan Husky dogs and Brazilian mongrel dogs and compared them with a panel of 568 European dogs and 40 Alaskan gray wolves. DNA sequence based typing was used to characterize a series of 12 Alaskan Huskies and 115 Brazilian mongrels for their DLA-DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1 alleles. Within these dogs, 22 previously undescribed DLA class II alleles were identified: 10 DRB1, 5 DQA1 and 7 DQB1 alleles. All these alleles were found in more than one animal, and, in some cases, as a homozygote. Several alleles initially observed in Alaskan gray wolves were found in these dogs. Each new allele was found in specific haplotypic combinations. Many new DLA class II haplotypes were identified. Several of the new alleles and haplotypes were also identified in the European dogs used for comparison. One new haplotype, containing a previously unknown DLA-DRB1 allele together with DQA1 and DQB1 alleles only seen before in gray wolves, was found in 20 Brazilian dogs, including three homozygous animals. It appears likely that the extent of polymorphism of the DLA genes will increase substantially as dogs from a wider geographic distribution are studied. This has major implications for the study of disease susceptibility and immune responsiveness in dogs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-52
    Number of pages9
    JournalTissue Antigens
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2002


    • DLA-DQA1
    • DLA-DQB1
    • DLA-DRB1
    • Dog
    • MHC


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