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By Thomas K. Day

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FLA genes have also been characterized by the use of molecular probes. There are at least two classical class I loci and several class II genes (encoding α and β chains), and the FLA system is situated on chromosome B2. A major difference between FLA and canine or human MHC gene clusters is the absence of 38 DQ genes and the vestigial presence of DP genes, which is compensated for by expansion (via gene duplication) of the DR gene family to up to seven loci. This more restricted feline MHC repertoire may have consequences for the range of immune responses that may be made by the cat.

Ig diversity is achieved in similar fashion to that of the TCR, where light chains comprise V, J and C regions and heavy chains are formed from the combination of V, D, J and C regions. The genes encoding the κ, λ and heavy chains of Ig are located on three separate 85 The Ig class switch. Virgin B cells concurrently express SmIgM and SmIgD. The VDJ region of the heavy chain is created by DNA rearrangements and either the μ or the δ C region is added by differential RNA splicing. After activation, the Ig class switch involves a second DNA rearrangement whereby the μ and δ genes are looped out and an alternative C gene is moved up to exchange at the switch region (red).

A number of chemokines and chemokine receptors have now been defined in the dog and cat, primarily at the molecular level (71). Various levels of lymphocyte recirculation are recognized. For example, the extent of lymphocyte recirculation may vary with the stage of lymphocyte activation (72) and lymphocytes may circulate preferentially between mucosal sites via the common mucosal system (73). THE MAJOR HISTOCOMPATIBILITY COMPLEX Histocompatibility antigens are cell-surface molecules that are responsible for the phenomenon 71 36 of graft rejection (see Chapter 16, p.

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