DISEASES - prevent or minimize the rejection of...

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LEUKOCYTE ANTIGEN (HLA) COMPLEX   All nucleated human cells bear on the surface of their plasma membranes special protein  complexes that are the thing the immune system uses to recognize self (or non-self). These  proteins are capable of acting as antigens, but the immune system of the owner is supposed to  recognize that these proteins and the cells they are attached to are self, and not respond to them.  These proteins are known as MHC (major histocompatibility complex) proteins or HLA (human  leukocyte antigens). These proteins are found on cells other than leukocytes, but leukocytes can  be easily removed and classified, so that is the way this name arose.    These antigens are of major importance in tissue transplants. The ABO blood group and the HLA  antigens must be matched as closely as possible between donor and recipient in an effort to 
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Unformatted text preview: prevent or minimize the rejection of transplants. Certain HLA antigens may also be associated with increased susceptibility to certain diseases. HLA typing is the process used to identify the exact type of HLA antigens a person has. To determine the suitability of a transplant between two persons, the ABO group must first match. Then HLA typing further tests the chances of a successful transplant. Two main classes of HLAs are tested and matched, Class I HLAs and Class II HLAs. Class I HLAs are found on all cells in the body except RBC. Class II HLAs are found mostly on the surface of specialized immune cells. Ideally, both will be a close match, although they will not be identical unless an identical twin can act as the donor....
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