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Identification and evaluation of major histocompatibility complex antigens in chicken chimeras and their relationship to germline transmission

, : Identification and evaluation of major histocompatibility complex antigens in chicken chimeras and their relationship to germline transmission. Poultry Science 81(10): 1427-1438

Chimeric chickens were evaluated as an intermediate for development of transgenic chickens. The transfer of Barred Plymouth Rock (BR) blastodermal cells into White Leghorn (WL) embryos results in BR leads to WL chimeras, and some breeder males generate over 30% germline transmission of the BR genotype to offspring based on a feather-color trait. The objectives of the current study were to 1) identify the MHC (B haplotypes) in resident BR and WL lines, 2) establish that B antigens could be detected and quantified in red blood cells (RBC) of chimeras, 3) establish if there is a correlation in chimeras between percentage of RBC with donor B antigens and percentage germline transmission, and 4) evaluate if the MHC genotype influences chimera development. The RBC agglutination data indicated three B haplotypes were present in each line. The B*2-like, and B*19-like genes were unique to the WL line, and B*13-like and B-15-like genes were unique to the BR line, whereas a B*21-like gene was present in both lines. In adult BR leads to WL chimeras, as well as 10- to 14 d-old WL leads to WL chimeras, donor-type B antigens were detectable and quantifiable on RBC using flow cytometry. In BR leads to WL chimeras, the percentage germline transmission was significantly correlated with the percentage of RBC with donor B antigen, as well as percentage of black feathers in the plumage. In a retrospective study using previously developed BR leads to WL chimeras, the level of chimerism and germline transmission was higher in B*21/*21 type recipients, but this was not statistically significant in two prospective studies. It was concluded that MHC antigens on RBC can be used for identifying, quantifying, and selecting chicken chimeras developed by the transfer of blastodermal cells.


PMID: 12412906

DOI: 10.1093/ps/81.10.1427

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