Major histocompatibility complex genes in the common carp, Cyprinus carpio L.

S.H.M. van Erp

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


This thesis describes a study of the major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) genes of the common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). The molecules encoded by Mhc genes play an essential role in the specific immune response, by presenting antigens to T lymphocytes. Knowledge of the Mhc of carp, therefore, contributes to our understanding of the immune response mechanisms in this species. In addition, it may give important insights in the phylogenetic development of these genes. The common carp was found to contain several distinct lineages of Mhc class I genes, denoted as Cyca-U, Cyca-Z, Cyca- TC16 and Cyca- C4. The Cyca-U sequences probably represent classical Mhc class I genes, of which most likely only a single locus is expressed in each individual. Cyca-Z genes are present in multiple polymorphic copies in the genome, but it is not clear whether these genes are expressed. The sequence of Cyca- TC16 is most similar to the class I genes of the coelacanth, a fish which is thought to be a representative of the evolutionary lineage leading to the tetrapods. It is, however, not clear whether Cyca -TC16 is expressed. In addition, the sequence encoding carp β 2 -microglobulin was isolated. Although two B2m genes were detected in each individual, apparently only one of these is expressed. In contrast, at least four class II B genes may be expressed in a single animal. These genes are linked in two pairs, which, however, segregate independently. In addition, two expressed class II A sequences were identified, most likely derived from two separate loci. Both the class II A and B genes are likely to encode bona fide class II chains, the components of the cell-surface class II α-βheterodimer. Although carp thus possess a complete set of class I and class II genes, it is not yet clear whether these genes reside in a single genetic Mhc region.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • van Muiswinkel, W.B., Promotor, External person
  • Stet, R.J.M., Promotor
Award date29 May 1996
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789054855095
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • immunogenetics
  • reticuloendothelial system
  • antibodies
  • immunoglobulins
  • cyprinidae
  • carp


Dive into the research topics of 'Major histocompatibility complex genes in the common carp, Cyprinus carpio L.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this