The common Kd and/or Db alleles of NOD mice contribute to the development of autoimmune diabetes, but their respective contributions are unresolved. The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) of the CTS/Shi mouse, originally designated as H2ct, shares MHC class II region identity with the H2g7 haplotype of NOD mice. However, CTS mice were reported to express distinct but undefined MHC class I gene products. Because diabetes frequency was reduced 56% in females of a NOD stock congenic for H2ct, this partial resistance may have derived from the MHC class I allelic differences. In the present report, we use a combination of serologic analysis and sequencing of MHC class I cDNAs to establish that NOD/Lt and CTS/Shi share a common H2-Kd allele but differ at the H2-D end of the MHC complex. The H2-D allele of CTS/Shi was identified as the rare H2-Ddx recently described in ALR/Lt, another NOD-related strain. These results in mouse model systems show that multiple MHC genes confer diabetes resistance and suggest that at least one of the protective MHC or MHC-linked genes in CTS mice may be at the H2-D end of the complex.

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