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An Mhc class I allele associated to the expression of T-dependent immune response in the house sparrow

  • C Bonneaud
  • M Richard
  • B Faivre
  • Helena Westerdahl
  • G Sorci
Publishing year: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 782-789
Publication/Series: Immunogenetics
Volume: 57
Issue: 10
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

The major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) encodes for highly variable molecules, responsible for foreign antigen recognition and subsequent activation of immune responses in hosts. Mhc polymorphism should hence be related to pathogen resistance and immune activity, with individuals that carry either a higher diversity of Mhc alleles or one specific Mhc allele exhibiting a stronger immune response to a given antigen. Links between Mhc alleles and immune activity have never been explored in natural populations of vertebrates. To fill this gap, we challenged house sparrows (Passer domesticus) with two T-dependent antigens (phytohemagglutinin and sheep red blood cells) and examined both primary and secondary immune responses in relation to their Mhc class I genotypes. The total number of Mhc alleles had no influence on either primary or secondary response to the two antigens. One particular Mhc allele, however, was associated with an increased response to both antigens. Our results point toward a contribution of the Mhc, or of other genes in linkage disequilibrium with the Mhc, in the regulation of immune responses in a wild animal species.


  • Biological Sciences


  • Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab
  • ISSN: 1432-1211
Helena Westerdahl
E-mail: helena [dot] westerdahl [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Senior lecturer


+46 46 222 36 69



Research group

Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab


Doctoral students and postdocs

Research fellows


Luz Garcia-Longoria

PhD students, main supervisor

Samantha Mellinger

PhD students, assistant supervisor

Gustaf Ekelund Ugge

Helena Westerdahl w house sparrow