[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immune responses to Haemonchus contortus were compared in studies in resistant Barbados Black Belly (BBB) and susceptible INRA 401 (INRA) breeds of lambs. The cytokine patterns indicated a Th2-biased response in both breeds. A more persistent and elevated Th2 cytokine mRNA transcription and blood eosinophilia were noted in the BBB lambs. However, at days 4 and 30 post-infection, abomasal recruitment of eosinophils and mast cells were similar between the two breeds. Following primary infections, the BBB demonstrated a substantially lower faecal egg count compared to the INRA lambs. Furthermore, worm counts at 4 and 30 days post-infection, and adult female worm size and in utero egg counts 30 days after the first infection were significantly lower in the BBB than in the INRA breed. In the INRA breed, re-infection caused a significant reduction in most parasitological parameters compared with those observed after the primary infection. A similar response was not observed in the BBB sheep. In conclusion, while the major driving force in the response to H. contortus infection is a Th2-biased immunity in which the BBB showed its maximal performance during the primary infection, the INRA breed performed better after re-infection compared to its response to first exposure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oral contamination with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent in susceptible PRNP genotype sheep results in widespread distribution of prion in the host. Because ARR homozygous sheep are considered to be resistant to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, they have been selected to eradicate scrapie from sheep flocks and to protect the human food chain from small ruminant BSE risk. However, results presented here show that several months after an oral challenge with BSE agent, healthy ARR/ARR sheep can accumulate significant amounts of PrP(Sc) in the spleen.
Full-text · Article · May 2006 · Journal of General Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether MHC molecules undergo concerted evolution or not has been the subject of a long-standing debate.
By comparing sequences of eight functional homologues of HLA-E from primates and rodents with those of MHC class Ia molecules from the same eight species, we find that different portions of MHC class I molecules undergo different patterns of evolution. By focusing our analyses sequentially on these various portions, we have obtained clear evidence for concerted evolution of MHC class I molecules, suggesting the occurrence of extensive interallelic and intergenic exchanges. Intra-species homogenisation of sequences is particularly noticeable at the level of exon 4, which codes for the alpha3 domain, but our results suggest that homogenisation also concerns certain residues of the alpha1-alpha2 codomain that lie outside the antigen recognition site.
A model is presented in which Darwinian selective pressures due to pathogens could, at the same time, favour diversification of MHC class Ia molecules and promote concerted evolution of separate loci by spreading advantageous motifs arising by mutations in individual MHC molecules to other alleles and to other loci of the MHC region. This would also allow MHC molecules to co-evolve with the proteins with which they interact to fulfil their functions of antigen presentation and regulation of NK cell activity. One of the raisons d'être of the MHC may therefore be to favour at the same time both diversification of MHC class Ia molecules and homogenisation of the whole pool of MHC class I molecules (Ia and Ib) involved in antigen presentation.
This article was reviewed by Stephan Beck, Lutz Walter and Pierre Pontarotti.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: So-called "immunoprivileged sites" are tissues or organs where slow allograft rejection correlates with low levels of expression of MHC class I molecules. Whilst classical class I molecules are recognised by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL), some MHC class I molecules are called "non-classical" because they exhibit low polymorphism and are not widely expressed. These last years, several studies have shown that these can play different, more specialised roles than their classical counterparts. In the course of efforts to characterise MHC class I expression in rat cells obtained from immunoprivileged sites such as the central nervous system or the placenta, a new family of non-classical MHC class I molecules, which we have named RT1-E2, has been uncovered.
Members of the RT1-E2 family are all highly homologous to one another, and the number of RT1-E2 loci varies from one to four per MHC haplotype among the six rat strains studied so far, with some loci predicted to give rise to soluble molecules. The RT1n MHC haplotype (found in BN rats) carries a single RT1-E2 locus, which lies in the RT1-C/E region of the MHC and displays the typical exon-intron organisation and promoter features seen in other rat MHC class I genes. We present evidence that: i) RT1-E2 molecules can be detected at the surface of transfected mouse L cells and simian COS-7 cells, albeit at low levels; ii) their transport to the cell surface is dependent on a functional TAP transporter. In L cells, their transport is also hindered by protease inhibitors, brefeldin A and monensin.
These findings suggest that RT1-E2 molecules probably associate with ligands of peptidic nature. The high homology between the RT1-E2 molecules isolated from divergent rat MHC haplotypes is particularly striking at the level of their extra-cellular portions. Compared to other class I molecules, this suggests that RT1-E2 molecules may associate with well defined sets of ligands. Several characteristics point to a certain similarity to the mouse H2-Qa2 and human HLA-G molecules.