HLA is Human Leukocyte Antigen which is part of the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) which are a set of genes that, in part, direct T cell mediated immunity. There are two classes of MHC that are involved with directing T cell immunity: class I present peptides to CD8+ T cells and class II present peptides to CD4+ T cells. The peptides presented by either classes of MHC are derived from either “self” (own proteins) or from invading pathogens. HLA are one of the most polymorphic genes, meaning that many variants exist and the pairs of inherited genes create a unique set of immune responses in each person. HLA are known to be associated with different diseases and with transplantation compatibility/ incompatibility.« Back to Glossary Index
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