Expression and function of HLA-A2.1 in transgenic mice.

Academic Article


  • We have derived a number of transgenic mouse lines which express the human major histocompatibility complex class I gene HLA-A2.1. Two lines carry the complete human HLA-A2.1, the others bear a recombinant gene in which the HLA-A2.1 coding regions are fused to the H-2Kb promoter. Analysis of transgenic spleen cells by immunofluorescence demonstrates that these mouse cells express HLA-A2.1 on their surface in association with mouse beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2m), confirming that HLA-A2 does not require human beta 2m to be expressed at the cell surface. The cells contain more HLA mRNA than endogenous H-2 class I mRNA. There is also a large pool of non-beta 2m-associated HLA heavy chain inside the cell. In contrast the amount of HLA:beta 2m complex is low. Thus, in transgenic mice HLA-A2 seems to compete poorly with H-2 heavy chains for mouse beta 2m. The HLA-A2.1 transgenic mice do not produce influenza-virus-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTL) restricted to the HLA transgene, at least in sufficient numbers to be measured in a direct bulk CTL assay. The dominance of H-2-restricted clones may be the result of quantitative rather than qualitative factors. However, HLA-A2.1 transgenic spleen cells are effective in stimulating an allogeneic CTL response in normal mice. This response is not H-2 restricted. Cold target inhibition studies show that there are at least two populations of CTL, one of which is specific for HLA-A2.1 on mouse cells. This result suggests that at least some allo-CTL are directed against major histocompatibility complex plus "self-peptide".
  • Published In


  • Animals, Blotting, Northern, Cytotoxicity, Immunologic, Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Gene Expression Regulation, Genes, H-2 Antigens, HLA-A2 Antigen, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Precipitin Tests, Promoter Regions, Genetic, RNA, Messenger, Spleen, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Epstein H; Hardy R; May JS; Johnson MH; Holmes N
  • Start Page

  • 1575
  • End Page

  • 1583
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 9