Eur J Immunogenet. 1996 Aug;23(4):321-8.

HLA five-locus haplotypes in Finns.

Ikaheimo I, Silvennoinen-Kassinen S, Tiilikainen A.

Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Oulu, Finland.

The extreme polymorphism of HLA genes makes them a powerful tool for distinguishing between different genetic populations. Five-locus HLA haplotypes of Finns (from Oulu, Northern Finland) are described here in order to characterize further the migration pathways of the population to Finland after the Ice Age. From random families, 364 haplotypes were obtained. The most frequent Finnish haplotype A3,Cw4,B35,DR1,DQ1 (7.7%) is a Caucasoid ancestral haplotype and is shared with Italians of Celtic and non-Celtic origin. The haplotype A1,Cw7,B8,DR3,DQ2, which occurs in 4.7% of Finns, is the most frequent haplotype in Caucasoids. The haplotypes A3,Cw7,B7,DR2,DQ1 (3.6%) and A2,Cw7,B7,DR2,DQ1 (2.5%) are shared with several Caucasoid populations and the latter also with Jamaican blacks. A2,Cw5,B44,DR5,DQ3 (0.8%) is shared with Italians of Celtic and non-Celtic origin, A2,Cw6,B13,DR7,DQ2 (1.1%) with Caucasoids in the USA and A9,Cw4,B35,DR1,DQ1 (0.8%) with Mongoloids. The haplotypes A2,CW3,B62,DR4,DQ3 (3.0%), A2,Cw2,B27,DR8,DQ4 (1.7%), A2,Cw3,B62,DR6,DQ1 (1.4%) and A2,Cw1,B27,DR4,DQ3 (1.4%) were also found to be among the most frequent in the Finnish population. The most frequent HLA haplotypes are consistent with the postulated ancient migration of populations from southern Scandinavia and Germany to Finland, the most frequent haplotype suggesting a common Celtic origin and one less frequent haplotype suggesting an influence from the east.