Talk:Human leukocyte antigen

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Human Leukocyte Antigen[edit]

Quote: "Historically, HLA genes were identified as a result of the ability to successfully transplant organs between HLA similar individuals." ... I suspect this sentence should read something like "Historically, HLA genes were identified as a result of rejection problems even transplanting between similar blood group individuals." Could someone please confirm this change??? (talk) 10:25, 28 November 2010 (UTC)


This article unfortunately gives the impression that HLA typing is no longer really necessary. As a leukaemia patient awaiting a match for a bone marrow transplant, HLA typing is still very necessary for marrow/stem cell matching when looking at a donated immune system. The closer the match, the less need for immunosuppressive drugs, which in many ways are counterproductive when dealing with a new immune system. Additionally, a better match reduces the possibility of Graft vs. Host Disease, in which the T-cells from the donor can attack the recipient, mistaking the recipient for a foreign body.

Answer: I don't know why you say that it gives the impression typing is not neccesary. Typing is obviously important in transplantation and identifying self versus non-self, in identifying those at risk for EATL and for confirmation of GSE when biopsy is negative. What do you think should be added? - PRD

How to collect Blood Sample for HLA Typing?[edit]

I need to collect the blood sample of the recipient and the donor for HLA Typing and Cross Match and transport it to another city. Can somebody guide me on which medium to collect the samples in, whether anticoagulants are required or not and whether I need serum or whole blood? Thank You.[REMOVED]

Answer: For HLA typing it is recommend to have about 10 mls of blood. When I surveyed HLA DQA1 and DQB1 typically 300 microliter to 1.5 millliliter per patient per test, so that safely per typing analysis one needs about 3.0 mls for DQ typing about the same for DR (as the test is considerably larger). The blood should be taken into a vacutainer (Light Blue, Sodium Citrate 3.2%) and is stable if kept at 4'C for a long period of time. 4'C can be obtain on slightly wet ice, or wet ice 0'C but freezing is not good becuase it lyses the cells. I have found that with older individuals more cells are required, so if you are over 50 plan on giving the entire amount of 10 mls. [BTW don't use heparin, green topped tubes, heparin interferes with DNA collection and PCR] 10/1/2006 - prd

I'm sitting in an HLA lab that receives yellow top tubes exclusively (they've never seen blue tops here) so call your HLA lab and check with them before you send your sample. They're very nice people. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I use yellow top tubes also, the light blue tops and yellow top tubes contain different citrate solutions, Yellow top tubes are acid citrate dextrose (ACD). The dextrose keeps cells healthier longer but if you are immediately preparing cells or freezing them at -80'C it does not make a difference. The thing one never wants to do is to freeze blood with heparin. Heparin can loosen the heme from hemoglobin and if that makes its way to the nucleus of the WBCs, effectively, the DNA is ruined.PB666 yap 04:38, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

New Introduction[edit]

I think this article needs a new introduction, understandable to a general reader. I didn't get a clear indication that HLAs are actually part of the human immune system until the section on HLA Functions where it describes the function of HLA in the process of helping the T-cells to identify non-self, infected, and tumor cells via surface antigens. It's sorta part of the immune system's IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) subsystem, as it were. Yes, this is simplistic, but I think that many readers who aren't familiar with cellular biology might need an Issac Asimov type explanation, at least initially. I already knew HLA's importance to the immune system functioning before reading this article, but others that come across the term elsewhere may be looking to find out what a HLA is, what it does, and it's importance to us. Becksguy 14:14, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

The article has been reorganized, the a small description of function has been made in the header, and the function subsection has been brought forward. Illustrations of HLA MHC Class I and II have been added.Pdeitiker 03:56, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
If you ever need a good, reliable, understandable introduction, I would recommend Kimball's Biology Pages. Kimball is a retired Harvard biology professor, and in this site he put his textbook online and keeps updating it. Another good source of a good, reliable, understandable introduction is the Merck Manual Home Edition here. Unfortunately, some of the free online dictionaries aren't too good; they have generic definitions that are literally correct (usually) but don't help anyone understand the concept. I knew people who wrote those definitions, usually freelancers who got today's equivalent of $2 per definition. Nbauman (talk) 16:56, 12 January 2009 (UTC)


I moved in a big block "Historical Guide to Understanding Nomenclature" from where it was marooned in HLA-A. It needs some significant editing and integration into the existing text. --Vitamin b (talk) 02:18, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

The section was left in HLA-A for the following reasons:
  • The history of HLA-D antigens is not fleshed out.
  • The origin of all HLA lie within the HL-A framework. Some mention of this needs to be placed on the HLA-A page.
Since you have decided to move this here you might want to research and describe how HLA-DP, DQ and DR from HL-A4 antigen. :^).
-PB666 yap 13:13, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
I think the Lymphocyte bearing antigens recognized section has the beginnings of the HLA-D/A4 history information you're asking about. It was in the original text that I moved from HLA-A. We can certainly expand on it, but doing so on the previous page seemed out of place.
I'm not sure that I understand enough what you mean by the origins of HLA in HL-A. Do you mean gene duplications or nomenclature? Perhaps you can make the edit you're suggesting to HLA-A?
Vitamin b (talk) 01:29, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
HL-A1 = HLA-A1, in fact except for the HL-A4 group some HLA-B antigens like HLA-B7 and B8 were often called HLA-A7 and A8 until almost 1980. It was not until the official workshops that new alleles were routinely placed outside of known groups. HLA-A1, A2, A3 have undergone little change in nomenclature. Or to place it like this, if we number antigen from 1 to 15.
A1, A2, A3, CL4 , B5, Cw, B7, B8, A9, A10, A11, B12, B13 all used to be in the form HLA-A, HL-A1, -A2, . . . . .-A13.(Bold = currently used serotypes) Somewhere between A12 and A16 they started placing new antigens in the workshop (w15, w16, etc) until they could be parsed accordingly. To rephrase the early HLA-A and HLA-B serotypes were all HLA-A and the Cw serotypes sort of were born out of HL-A6. Even the D antigens were born out of HL-A4.
If your intent is to expand CL-A4 to get to DR, DP, DQ be my guest, its alot of work considering that much of the work is in various workshop publications. HLA D nomenclature is a bit easier to explain without knowing the full history of HLA antigens. The intent was, when I had enough time, to create a history page separate from HLA and HLA-A. In my opinion the HLA page needs to be expanded, I didn't want it to trip over the history. Aside from that I liked the pictures I made of the redblood cell agglutination assay. heh-heh.PB666 yap 04:32, 27 July 2008 (UTC). There are about 3 dozen pages that link to that page, cause folks could not wrap their heads around why HLA-A and B numbers are not continuous. So those links are now to never-never land. I will have to go and to fix them all. :^( PB666 yap 04:32, 27 July 2008 (UTC)


Added a sentance abut MHC in the first paragraph, the first mention of MHC was not until the classification section, and I don't think the link between the two terms is clear in the article anyway. At the moment some parts of the article suggest that MHC are a type of HLA, while other sections appear to suggest that HLA are a type of MHC. (as far as I am aware the latter is correct), it is a little confusing if the reader hasn't studied MHC before.Philman132 (talk) 12:00, 26 April 2009 (UTC)


In the "Major MHC class II and HLA-DR" part there is a statement: "4 β-chains (only 3 possible per person), encoded by HLA-DRB1, DRB3, DRB4, DRB5 loci" Could the "only 3 possible per person" statement have a reference or an explanation? (talk) 09:14, 15 February 2013 (UTC)

Disease association[edit]

The following table contain more data as compared to the one already present in the article:

Significant HLA Class I and Class II Associations with Disease

Disease Marker
Ankylosing spondylitis, Reiter's syndrome, Acute anterior uveitis, Reactive arthritis, Psoriatic spondylitis B27
Juvenile arthritis, pauciarticular DR8, DR5
Rheumatoid arthritis DR4, DW4
Sjögren's syndrome DR3
Systemic lupus erythematosus DR3, DR2
Gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease) DQ2
Chronic active hepatitis, Dermatitis herpetiformis DR3, DR3
Psoriasis vulgaris Cw6
Pemphigus vulgaris DR4, DQ1
Bullous pemphigoid variant DQ7
Type 1 diabetes mellitus DR4, DQ8, DR3, DR2
Graves' disease, Myasthenia gravis B8, DR3, B8, DR3
Adrenal insufficiency DR3
Behcet's disease B51
Congenital adrenal hyperplasia B47
Narcolepsy, Goodpasture's syndrome (anti-GBM), Multiple sclerosis DR2, DR2, DR2

I suggest incorporating this table into this article. DiptanshuTalk 05:00, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

The following reference can also be helpful:
Dixon, Frank J.; Kunkel, Henry G. (26 November 1976). ADVANCES IN IMMUNOLOGY. Academic Press. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-08-057799-9. 
DiptanshuTalk 10:05, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Table of HLA alleles in each prevalence category[edit]

Am I missing something? The percentages in that table don't match, if 68 corresponds to 3.4%, 145 cannot be 21.5%. If I recalculate the percentages for common and well documented alleles based on the rare and very rare percentages (common: 68*41.6/280=10.1%; well doc: 178*41.6/280=26.44%), the percentages add up to 100% (21.5+41.6+10.1+26.4=99.6). So where do the percentages for C and WD come from? Ssscienccce (talk) 03:38, 14 September 2015 (UTC)

Answer: As noted in the section above this table, "the current CWD and rare/very rare designations were developed using different datasets and different versions of the IMGT/HLA Database". Because of this, a different source is cited for the CWD-allele values in the table than for the the rare/very rare-allele values in the table. The IMGT/HLA Database is updated every three months. With each new database update, the number of known HLA alleles increases. Since the CWD-allele data and the rare/very rare-allele data were generated at different times, the reported fractions were generated using different denominators. Given these limitations, the section above this table notes that "the approximate fraction of alleles at each HLA locus in each category is shown" in the table. 8Zark8 (talk) 01:07, 11 January 2016 (UTC)

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