Canine DLA-79 gene: an improved typing method, identification of new alleles and its role in graft rejection and graft-versus-host disease.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Tissue antigens, Volume 81, Issue 4, p.204-11 (2013)


2013, April 2013, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, Comparative Medicine Core Facility, Genomics Core Facility


Developing a preclinical canine model that predicts outcomes for hematopoietic cell transplantation in humans requires a model that mimics the degree of matching between human donor and recipient major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes. The polymorphic class I and class II genes in mammals are typically located in a single chromosome as part of the MHC complex. However, a divergent class I gene in dogs, designated dog leukocyte antigen-79 (DLA-79), is located on chromosome 18 while other MHC genes are on chromosome 12. This gene is not taken into account while DLA matching for transplantation. Though divergent, this gene shares significant similarity in sequence and exon-intron architecture with other class I genes, and is transcribed. Little is known about the polymorphisms of DLA-79 and their potential role in transplantation. This study was aimed at exploring the reason for high rate of rejection seen in DLA-matched dogs given reduced intensity conditioning, in particular, the possibility that DLA-79 allele mismatches may be the cause. We found that about 82% of 407 dogs typed were homozygous for a single, reference allele. Owing to the high prevalence of a single allele, 87 of the 108 dogs (∼80%) transplanted were matched for DLA-79 with their donor. In conclusion, we have developed an efficient method to type alleles of a divergent MHC gene in dogs and identified two new alleles. We did not find any statistical correlation between DLA-79 allele disparity and graft rejection or graft-versus-host disease, among our transplant dogs.