Submitted to: Immunogenetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/29/1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: In chickens, as in humans, there is one family of inherited genes that is most important in resistance to disease and response to vaccines. This family of genes is called the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The MHC is a heredity unit of genes composed of two general classes, termed class I and class II. We developed seven strains of chickens that differ for MHC genes. We studied the class II genes in these chicken strains and determined that: 1) the lines expressed from 1-3 class II genes, and 2) each line had a unique sequence form of each expressed gene. This variability in form, and/or number, of class II genes expressed could be important in disease resistance, since we have previously shown these chicken lines differ dramatically in resistance to viral induced tumors. By defining the sequence forms of these and other MHC genes it will be possible to clarify if both class I and II genes are relevant in disease resistance, and to predict which form(s) of these gene(s) determine resistance to a disease. Ultimately, the consumer as well as the poultry industry will benefit from the production of disease-resistant poultry.
Technical Abstract: cDNA was obtained from the bursae of Fabricius of six B-congenic lines of chickens developed at this laboratory and studied for expression of B-Lbeta genes. Genes of the B-LBI, II, and VI loci were differentially expressed in chickens with the B2, 5, 13, 15, 19, or 21 haplotypes. The B gene expressed at each locus in each line had unique DNA sequences from the B gene expressed in other lines. Only the B-LBII locus was expressed in all haplotypes. The B congenic lines have demonstrable differences in resistance to Marek's disease (MD), and in responses to MD viral vaccines. This variability in disease resistance may be correlated with differences in the expressed B-LB peptides.