Polymorphic class II sequences linked to the rat major histocompatibility complex (RT1) homologous to human DR and DQ sequences

M. J. Palmer, D. A. Buck, J. A. Frelinger, P. J. Wettstein

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4 Scopus citations


Until recently, the analysis of Class II genes linked to the rat major histocompatibility complex, RT1, has been confined to serologic and electrophoretic analysis of their gene products. To obtain a more definitive estimate of the numger and relative polymorphism of RT1 Class II sequences, we performed Southern blot analysis of rat genomic DNA employing human cDNA probes specific for Class II heavy and light chain genes. Southern blots of EcoRI and BamHI digests of genomic DNA from ten inbred strains, expressing eight RT1 haplotypes, were hybridized with the human DQβ or DRβ cDNA that are homologous to Class II light chain sequences. Four to eight bands were observed to hybridize with the light chain cDNA: band sizes ranged from 2.5 to 28 kb. Restriction fragment patterns were polymorphic; the only identical patterns observed were those associated with RT1 haplotypes with identical RT1.B regions. The number and size of bands hybridizing with DQβ and DRβ suggested a minimum of four light chain sequences in each haplotype. Southern blots of BamHI and EcoRI digests of genomic DNA from the same strains were hybridized with a DRα cDNA that is homologous to Class II heavy dhain sequences. All RT1 haplotypes expressed either a 10.0-kb or 13.0-kb band when digested with BamHI, and either a 17-kb or 3.7-kb band with digested with EcoRI. Considerably less polymorphism was detected with the DRα probe; this observation is consistent with previously reported limited protein polymorphism of the rat equivalent of the I-Eα subunit. The size and number of bands hybridizing with the DRα probe suggests a minimum of two heavy chain sequences. These observations suggest that the RT1 complex includes more Class II sequences than have been observed in serologic and electrophoretic analyses of Class II gene products. Furthermore, the level of polymorphism of RT1 Class II sequences appears to be comparable with mouse and human Class II sequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1450-1455
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1985

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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