History of Human Neutrophil Antigens

History and nomenclature of HNAs

Agglutination of patient sera by leucocytes of other individuals was observed during the early years of the last century. It was in 1960 the first granulocyte - specific antigen was reported by Parviz Lalezari in a case of alloimmune neonatal neutropenia. It was then, the very first nomenclature of granulocyte antigens were proposed. The antigens were named based on the type of granulocyte and their allelic locus. For example, NA1 specifies the following details, N for neutrophil specific antigen, A specifying the genic locus encoding the antigen and a numeric character designated to the specific allele. An antithetical antigen of NA1, named NA2 was reported by Lalezari and Radel.

Later in 1971, NB1 and NB2 antigens were discovered and reported by the same group. Around 1970s an antigen recognized by the serum of a woman whose child was suffering from mild neonatal alloimmune neutropenia was reported and named as NC1. In 1978, ND1 antigen was described by Verheugt et al, from serum of two patients who had autoimmune neutropenia. Studies on serum of a child affected with chronic benign neutropenia let to the discovery of NE1 antigen.

Population scale studies identified antigens produced that are produced by genes at a specific locus called HGA-3. Hasegawa et al, had identified 14 specificities produced at three loci namely GA, GB and GC. Yet another antigen expressed on granulocytes, monocytes and endothelial cells was discovered and reported as AYD.

The current nomenclature of HNA - encoding alleles and antigens were recommended and published by the International Society of Blood Transfusion - Granulocyte Immunobiology Working Party (ISBT - GIWP). Nomenclature for the allele names comprises the official gene name followed by an asterisk and a two digit numeric specifying the allele number. For example, FCGR3B*01. New mutation discoveries without known phenotype or clinical data are usually reported according to the Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) nomenclature.