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ISRN Veterinary Science
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 872710, 12 pages
Review Article

The Major Histocompatibility Complex in Bovines: A Review

Animal Genetics Division, National Bureau of Animal Genetics Resources, P.O. Box 129, GT Bypass Road, Haryana, Karnal 132001, India

Received 14 February 2012; Accepted 29 March 2012

Academic Editors: M. Albenzio, M. Benko, and I. Nsahlai

Copyright © 2012 Jyotsna Dhingra Behl et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Productivity in dairy cattle and buffaloes depends on the genetic factors governing the production of milk and milk constituents as well as genetic factors controlling disease resistance or susceptibility. The immune system is the adaptive defense system that has evolved in vertebrates to protect them from invading pathogens and also carcinomas. It is remarkable in the sense that it is able to generate an enormous variety of cells and biomolecules which interact with each other in numerous ways to form a complex network that helps to recognize, counteract, and eliminate the apparently limitless number of foreign invading pathogens/molecules. The major histocompatibility complex which is found to occur in all mammalian species plays a central role in the development of the immune system. It is an important candidate gene involved in susceptibility/resistance to various diseases. It is associated with intercellular recognition and with self/nonself discrimination. It plays major role in determining whether transplanted tissue will be accepted as self or rejected as foreign.