Beyond Self-Nonself for MHC

Science's STKE  26 Sep 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 354, pp. tw334
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3542006tw334

Proteins of the major histocompatibility complex class 1 (MHC1), which are important in identifying self and nonself tissue for the immune system, are also found in the brain. Syken et al. show that a receptor, PirB, to which the MHC1 proteins bind, is also found in neurons of the brain. In mice carrying a mutant PirB lacking its signal transduction capabilities, the overall structure of the brain remained normal. However, these mice showed greater than normal plasticity in the visual cortex. Thus, intercellular signaling through PirB seems to be critical for keeping visual plasticity within limits.

J. Syken, T. GrandPre, P. O. Kanold, C. J. Shatz, PirB restricts ocular-dominance plasticity in visual cortex. Science 313, 1795-1800 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]