Tissue Antigens. 1999 Mar;53(3):213-26. Related Articles, Links

The origin of Cretan populations as determined by characterization of HLA alleles.

Arnaiz-Villena A, Iliakis P, Gonzalez-Hevilla M, Longas J, Gomez-Casado E, Sfyridaki K, Trapaga J, Silvera-Redondo C, Matsouka C, Martinez-Laso J.

Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology, H. 12 de Octubre, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain. Antonio.Arnaiz@inm.h12o.es

The Cretan HLA gene profile has been compared with those of other Mediterranean populations in order to provide additional information regarding the history of their origins. The allele frequencies, genetic distances between populations, relatedness dendrograms and correspondence analyses were calculated. Our results indicate that the Indoeuropean Greeks may be considered as a Mediterranean population of a more recent origin (after 2000 B.C.), while all other studied Mediterraneans (including Cretans) belong to an older substratum which was present in the area since pre-Neolithic times. A significant Turkish gene flow has not been detected in the Greek or Cretan populations, although Greeks and Turks have two high frequency HLA-DRB-DQB haplotypes in common. It is proposed that Imazighen (Caucasoid Berbers living at present in the North African coast and Saharan areas) are the remains of pre-Neolithic Saharan populations which could emigrate northwards between about 8000-6000 B.C., when desert desiccation began. They also could be part of the stock that gave rise to Sumerians, Cretans and Iberians; this is supported by both linguistic and HLA genetic data.