Immune responses and tolerance to the RhD blood group protein in HLA-transgenic mice

Andrew Michael Hall, Lindsay Susan Cairns, Daniel M Altmann, Robert Norman Barker, Stanislaw Urbaniak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


RhD is a major blood group and the most important target antigen in hemolytic disease of the newborn (HDN). The aims of this study were to establish a humanized mouse model of responses to the RhD protein and to test whether these could be prevented by the induction of immune tolerance. HLA-DR15 is a major restricting element for human T-helper (Th) cells specific for RhD protein, and expression of this HLA-DR transgene was found to confer on mice the ability to respond to immunization with purified RhD protein. Synthetic peptides containing dominant Th cell epitopes, previously identified from studies of human alloimmunized donors, were administered to the nasal mucosa of transgenic mice before immunization with purified RhD protein. Treatment with each of the 4 dominant peptides, RhD52-66, RhD97-111, RhD117-131, and RhD177-191, inhibited T-cell priming and prevented antibody responses to the RhD protein. The ability to induce such active tolerance offers the prospect of peptide immunotherapy as a replacement for passive immune globulin in the prophylaxis of HDN.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2175-2179
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Epitopes
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance
  • Immunization
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Rh-Hr Blood-Group System
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer
  • Transgenes


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