A novel class II MHC molecule with unusual tissue distribution

Nature. 1991 Jun 6;351(6326):485-8. doi: 10.1038/351485a0.


The repertoire of mature class II-restricted T cells is generated through a complex process of selection whereby early T cells confront class II molecules in the thymus, especially on epithelial cells. Expression of class II molecules on such cells is prominent both in the cortex and in the medulla. We have identified a novel class II molecule, H-20, which is expressed only in epithelial cells of the thymic medulla and in B cells. The unusual tissue distribution and the nonpolymorphic nature of H-20 suggest that its function is different from that of classical class II molecules.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Epithelium / immunology
  • H-2 Antigens / analysis*
  • H-2 Antigens / chemistry
  • H-2 Antigens / genetics
  • Immunosorbent Techniques
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Thymus Gland / immunology*


  • H-2 Antigens