About this Research Topic
HLA-C was recognized as a classical transplantation determinant long after HLA-A and HLA-B. Its low level of expression and lack of robust serologic typing reagents impeded investigation of this locus. In the DNA era, the availability of PCR-based methods has afforded investigators the tools with which to study HLA-C diversity and the implications of this variation on alloreactivity in blood, marrow and cord blood transplantation. Available evidence demonstrates that HLA-C is a polymorphic locus, shows strong positive linkage disequilibrium with HLA-B on extended HLA haplotypes. Matching between the patient and the stem cell source is associated with lower overall risks of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). The likelihood of identifying suitable stem cell sources for patients who lack HLA-matched donors, however, remains a challenge, and emphasizes the need to define mismatches that do not increase post-transplant risks. Information on the role of HLA-C ligands in NK cell-mediated alloreactivity is a promising new area of research with implications for clinical translation to facilitate lower risks of post-transplant relapse.
In this Frontiers Research Topic, the functional consequences of HLA-C diversity, its role in T and NK-mediated alloreactions that impact risks of acute and chronic GVHD and relapse after blood, marrow and cord blood transplantation, will be highlighted.
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.