major histocompatability complex

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Related to major histocompatability complex: human leukocyte antigen

major histocompatability complex (MHC)

a cluster of tightly linked genes on chromosome 6 in humans. These genes code for protein molecules (MHC molecules or MHC antigens) that are attached to the surface of body cells and used by the body's immune system to recognize its own or foreign material. Class 1 MHC antigens are located on the surface of virtually all human cells, but Class II MHC antigens are restricted to MACROPHAGES and the antibody-producing B-LYMPHOCYTES. See also HLA SYSTEM.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The induction of a T-cell response depends upon the recognition of the antigenic peptide, embedded within the major histocompatability complex (MHC) groove on antigen presenting cells.
The major histocompatability complex (MHC) controls the way our immune system recognises invaders and has previously been shown to play a role in sexual attraction.
On the other side, the team placed a molecule called major histocompatability complex (MHC) that allows T cells to recognize if the cells are 'self' or 'foreign.' MHC does this through its peptides, small fragments of protein from cells.

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