Coevolution of the major histocompatibility complex and the t-complex in the mouse. I. Generation and maintenance of high complementarity associations.
A quantitative model is developed to explore the effects of prezygotic and postzygotic incompatibility on the origin and maintenance of associations between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and the t-complex in the mouse. Incompatibility is represented by a reduction in the rate of conception or gestation of offspring derived from sperm bearing MHC antigens in common with the mother. Incompatibility encourages the evolution of associations from a state of complete independence between the two complexes by promoting the invasion of all novel antigens, including those that exhibit associations with the t-complex. Incompatibility can modify the relative numbers of antigens associated with each haplotype by actively promoting the exclusion or invasion of recombinants that bear formerly +-specific or t-specific antigens on the alternative haplotype. The results of the analysis indicate that the state of complete independence between the MHC and the t-complex is not preserved over evolutionary time in the presence of incompatibility. Further, the expression of incompatibility maintains fully associated states that include a single antigen associated with the t-haplotype and up to three to five antigens associated with the +-haplotype within a single population.
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