It will soon be 50 years since the first MHC associations with human disease were described. These seminal studies opened a flourishing area of research, yet much remains to be discovered. Genome-wide association studies of autoimmune diseases have demonstrated that the MHC region has effect sizes that supersede those for any non-MHC locus for most diseases. Thus, an understanding of how particular MHC alleles confer susceptibility will be essential for a comprehensive understanding of autoimmune disease pathogenesis. Here we review recent exciting findings in this important field.
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