Syrian hamster DNA shows limited polymorphism at class I-like loci

Immunogenetics. 1985;22(3):257-68. doi: 10.1007/BF00404485.


The class I gene products of the Syrian hamster major histocompatibility complex are unique in that they lack functionally detectable polymorphism. Mouse cDNA and hamster genomic probes were used to analyze the hamster class I gene family using genomic Southern hybridization. These studies revealed that the hamster possesses a complex class I multigene family and that it shares extensive sequence homology with the corresponding mouse sequences. Unlike the mouse, however, the Syrian hamster demonstrates only limited restriction endonuclease polymorphism in these genes. These results suggest that the lack of detectable polymorphism in this species is directly related to limited DNA polymorphism. The data presented here support the hypothesis that this species has undergone an evolutionary bottleneck, i.e., that all surviving members of the species arose from a limited number of progenitors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae / genetics*
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes
  • Genes
  • Genotype
  • Histocompatibility Antigens / genetics*
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Mesocricetus / genetics*
  • Mesocricetus / immunology
  • Mice
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • Histocompatibility Antigens
  • Membrane Proteins
  • DNA
  • DNA Restriction Enzymes