Date of Award

Spring 1959

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Immunogenetics, a term coined by Irwin to designate the studies in which the techniques of Immunology and genetics were jointly employed, owes its beginning to two major contributions to the biological sciences; the discovery of individual blood differences in man by Landsteiner, and the demonstration by Bernstein that these antigenic blood differences were inherited in accordance with the Mendelian laws of heredity. The subsequent numerous investigations of the antigenic components of the blood of various animal species, and the studies on the mode of their inheritance contributed materially to such allied sciences as immunology, serology, anthropology, and genetics, as well as to clinical medicine. Among the animal species thus examined were some of the common laboratory rodents: the rat, the mouse, the rabbit, and the guinea pig. The hamster, only recently introduced as an experimental animal, has so far been neglected. The lack of immunogenetic studies on the hamster became particularly manifest when Dr. Peloquin, studying the inheritance of fur colors in the Golden Hamster and three of its mutants, sought additional material suitable for genetic investigation in conjunction with his work. The present examination of the antigenicity of hamster erythrocytes was thus proposed with the view of providing data applicable in further elucidation of the genetics of the hamster.