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Blood types of the native Americans of Oklahoma.

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY 73:l-7 (1987)
Blood Types of the Native Americans of Oklahoma
D.O. KASPRISIN, M. CROW, C. McCLINTOCK, AND J. LAWSON
American Red Cross Blood Seruices, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74128
KEY WORDS
Blood groups, Gene frequencies, Cherokee, Creek,
Choctaw, Diego blood group system
ABSTRACT
Large numbers of Indians from Oklahoma were screened for a
variety of red cell antigens. Sufficient numbers of Cherokees, Creeks, and
Choctaws were studied to calculate gene frequencies. These tribes originated
in the Southeastern United States and were forcibly moved to Oklahoma. The
Creeks and Choctaws have not been studied previously. A small number of
Cherokees remained in North Carolina, and their blood types have been
reported. The blood types of the Oklahoma Cherokees are quite similar to
those observed there but one important difference was discovered. The data
previously reported concerning the Eastern Cherokees revealed the absence of
the Dia antigen. The present study found that the Oklahoma Cherokees do
have the Dia antigen, although in a lower percentage than the other southeastern tribes. The Creeks and Choctaws share a linguistic heritage as well as
having similar red cell phenotypes.
The state of Oklahoma was designated as
Indian Territory by the federal government,
and throughout the 19th century many tribes
of Native Americans were forcibly moved to
this state from their homelands. The history
of the tribes living in Oklahoma has been
described by Wright (1951). Today, 67 tribes
are represented in this state, including several small tribes and others which have
merged in the distant past and have lost
their individual identities. It is estimated
that 180,000 Native Americans now reside
in Oklahoma. The first tribes moved to this
state were the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw,
Chickasaw, and Seminole, collectively known
as the Five Civilized Tribes, a term originated by the Office of Indian Affairs because
of their early and remarkable advancement.
While most of the Cherokee tribe was
moved to Oklahoma, a few hundred hid from
the U.S. Army and remained in their original homeland. Their descendants live on the
Qualla reservation in western North Carolina. The blood types of these eastern Cherokee were studied by Snyder (1926), Pollitzer
et al. (19621, and Spees et al. (1975). However,
since these are descendants of a small portion of the tribe, they may not be truly representative of the tribe as a whole. The blood
types of the Cherokee of Oklahoma and many
0 1987 ALAN R. LISS, INC.
other Oklahoman tribes have not been studied. This report examines the blood types of
the Choctaw, Creek, and Cherokee, which
are among many Oklahoma tribes not previously studied. The results obtained from the
Cherokee of Oklahoma are compared to the
previous studies of the eastern Cherokee.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Beginning in 1982, the American Red Cross
Blood Services, Oklahoma Region, began a
search for rare blood donors among the Native American blood donors. The blood center
region encompasses the entire northeast, and
part of the southeast and north central, portions of Oklahoma. Large numbers of Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek reside in this area.
Figure 1 illustrates the tribal locations in
Oklahoma and demarcates the blood center
region.
The method for attracting the participation
of Native Americans in this project has been
published previously by McClintock et al.
(1984). Endorsement from the Principal
Chiefs of the Cherokee and Creek Nations
was obtained and a poster prepared for all
blood collection sites which explained the
need for donors with particular rare blood
Received August 11,1986;revision accepted December 1,1986.
Fig. 1. Tribal locations in Oklahoma. The shaded area demarcates the blood center region.
(Reproduced with permission from Historical Atlas of Oklahoma, Second Edition, Revised and
Enlarged, by John W. Morris, Charles R. Gains, and Edwin C. McReynolds. Copyright 1965,
1976 by the University of Oklahoma Press.)
3
BLOOD TYPES OF NATIVE AMERICANS OF OKLAHOMA
types and how ready availability of these
rare types would be beneficial for those Native Americans needing them. Blood center
personnel were present to answer inquiries.
All blood donors who volunteered to participate were asked to complete a consent form
which detailed the donor’s percentage of Native American ancestry and tribal identification.
More than 4,000 Native American blood
donors representing 30 tribes volunteered to
list their heritage. The largest number of
participants were from the Cherokee, Choctaw, and Creek tribes. The location of the
Seminole and Chickasaw tribes is south of
the blood center region, and few members of
these tribes were recruited. All participants
were screened for the Dia antigen. Because
of the rarity of the Dib antisera, only those
Native Americans who were positive for Dia
were further studied for Dib. Blood donors
who claimed to be more than three-quarters
Indian had a more complete red cell typing.
The ABO, Rh, MNSs, D a y , Kidd, Colton,
Kell, and Diego systems were studied. Three
hundred samples from donors three-quarters
or more Indian were also tested for Wra, He,
Vw, Js”, Mg, and Kpa. No positives were
found, and no further study of these antigens
was conducted. Anti-Dia was provided by the
American Red Cross National Headquarters.
All Di(a+) samples were also tested with a
commercial anti-Dia. Anti-Dib was provided
by SCARF (Serum, cells, and rare fluids, an
international immunohematological exchange group). All samples that were Di(a-)
were considered Di(a-b+) since neither a
third allele in this system nor the Di(a-b-)
phenotype has been identified.
Antigen testing in this study was done by
microplate technique. Positive tests for lowincidence antigens, i.e., Cob,Dia, and K, were
tested with the tube test and repeated with
antisera from at least one other source.
Gene frequencies of the MNSs and Rh systems were computed by Henry Gershowitz,
Ph.D., at the University of Michigan Medical
School by the maximum-likelihood method.
The ABO gene frequencies were calculated
by the Bernstein (1930) method. All other
blood group systems were calculated by simple gene counting.
RESULTS
Tables 1-5 present the red cell phenotypes
and gene frequencies found in the Cherokee,
Creek, and Choctaw tribes. Many of the individuals studied were from other tribes
whose total number of participants was not
sufficient to list separately. Many others
claimed mixed Indian ancestry. This group is
listed in the tables as other tribes and mixed
ancestry and acts as a group of Indians from
various tribes for comparison. Approximately 31% of this group were full-blood Indians from tribes whose numbers were too
small to permit statistical analysis; 50%were
full-blood Indians who claimed more than one
tribe, and 18% claimed some Caucasian or
other non-Indian ancestry. Only those participants who claimed more than three-quarters Indian blood are included in these tables.
Of the more than 900 Indians studied, the
largest number (>250) were from the Cherokee tribe. More than 150 Creek and 60
Choctaw are included. Not all blood samples
could be tested for all antigens and the number of participants varies.
TABLE 1. ABOphenotypes of the Indians of Oklahoma
ABO phenotypes (47,)
ABO phenotype
A
B
0
AB
Total tested
Gene frequencies
A
B
0
Choctaw
Other tribes and
mixed ancestry
154
7 (10)
0 (0)
62 (90)
0 (0)
69
152 (29)
12 (2)
356 (68)
1(< 1)
521
0.0595
0.0388
0.9017
0.0521
0.0000
0.9479
0.1243
0.0205
0.8552
Cherokee
Creek
52 (19)*
15 (6)
197 (74)
3 (1)
267
17 (11)
11 (7)
125 (81)
1(1)
0.1069
0.0322
0.8609
*Percentages have been rounded and may not total 1006.
4
D.O. KASPRISIN ET AL.
TABLE 2. Rh phenotypes and gene frequencies of the Indians of Oklahoma
Rh phenotype (%)
Cherokee
Probable Rh phenotype
RlR1
R1r
RlR2
R2Rz
Rzr
RZRl
RzRz
RzRz
Ror
rr
r‘r
r”r
Total tested
Gene freauencies
Rl
*
R2
r
Ro
Rz
r’
Creek
73 (27)*
52 (19)
72 (27)
18 (7)
21 (8)
16 16)
9 (3)
1(<1)
1(<1)
4 (2)
0 (0)
0 (0)
267
56 (36)
18 (12)
35 (23)
17 (11)
10 (6)
11(7)
6 (4)
1(1)
0 (0)
0 (0)
0 (0)
12 (17)
7 (101
25 (36)
7 (10)
11(16)
0 (0)
154
0 (0)
69
0.5261
0.2490
0.1475
0.5670
0.2715
0.4187
0.3752
> R, or r 0.0954
0.1537
0.0662
0.0000
0.0000
0.0523
0.0000
0.0000
0.0174
0.0600
0.0000
0.0000
r“
Choctaw
Other tribes and
mixed ancestry
0.5009
0.3163
0.1116
0.0191
0.0354
0.0076
0.0098
*Percentages have been rounded and may not total 1006.
TABLE 3. MNSs phenotypes and gene frequencies of the Indians o f Oklahoma
MNSs phenotypes (%)
Cherokee
Creek
Chocktaw
Other tribes and
mixed ancestry
MNSs phenotype
MMSs
MMss
MMSS
MNSs
MNss
MNSS
NNSs
NNss
NNSS
Total
tested
Gene frequencies
MS
Ms
NS
Ns
70 126)*
50 (19)
11(4)
59 (22)
47 (18)
12 (5)
7 (3)
8 (3)
2 (1)
266
36 (24)
25 (16)
16 (11)
29 (19)
25 (16)
0.2528
0.4615
0.0969
0.1888
0.3142
0.3949
0.0845
0.2064
155 (30)
117 (22)
46 (9)
69 (13)
83 (16)
18 (3)
12 (2)
21 (4)
4 (1)
524
0.2686
0.5502
0.0937
0.0875
0.2946
0.4735
0.0594
0.1725
*Percentages have been rounded and may not total 100%.
The phenotypes and gene frequencies are
similar to those found in other studies of
Indian populations. The majority of all four
groups of Native Americans were group 0,
the highest percentage occurring in the
Choctaw tribe. The percentage of group B
was very low and was absent in the Choctaw.
Elevated frequencies of R1, R2, and R, were
found, and the frequency of r was correspondingly low. R,, r’, and r ” were very rare and
r y was not found. The frequency of R, and r
were so low in the Creek and Choctaw tribes
5
BLOOD TYPES OF NATIVE AMERICANS OF OKLAHOMA
TABLE 4. Duffy and Kidd phenotypes and gene frequencies of the Indians of Oklahoma
Duffy phenotypes
Fy(a +b-)
Fy(a-b+)
Fy(a+b+)
Total tested
Gene frequencies
FYa
FYb
Kidd phenotypes
Jk(a +b -1
Jk(a -b +)
Jk(a +b +)
Total tested
Gene frequencies
Jk"
Jkb
Cherokee (%)
Creek (%I
Choctaw (%)
Other tribes and
mixed ancestry (%)
77 (29)"
38 (14)
149 (56)
264
60 (39)
22 (14)
72 (47)
154
25 (36)
9 (13)
35 (51)
69
218 (42)
53 (10)
245 (48)
516
0.5739
0.4261
0.6234
0.3766
0.6159
0.3841
0.6599
0.3401
43 (16)
57 (22)
162 (62)
262
28 (18)
36 (24)
89 (58)
153
6 (9)
13 (19)
50 (72)
69
135 (26)
102 (20)
279 (54)
516
0.4733
0.5267
0.4739
0.5261
0.4493
0.5507
0.5320
0.4680
*Percentages have been rounded and may not total 100%.
TABLE 5. Kell, Colton, and Diego phentotypes and gene frequencies
Kell phenofypes
K+k+
K-k+
Total tested
Gene frequencies
K
k
Colton phenotypes
Co(a+b-)
Co(a +b +)3
Total tested
Gene frequencies
coa
Cob
Diego phenotypes
Di(a +b-)
Di(a-b+)4
Di(a+b+)
Total tested
Gene frequencies
Di"
Dib
Other tribes and
mixed ancestrv (%)
Cherokee (%)
Creek (%)
Choctaw (%I
6(212
258 (98)
264
2 (1)
152 (99)
154
3 (4)
66 (96)
69
16 (3)
500 (97)
516
0.0114
0.9886
0.0065
0.9935
0.0217
0.9783
0.0155
0.9845
241 (97)
7 (3)
248
104 (96)
4 (4)
108
66 (96)
3 (4)
69
490 (98)
9 (2)
499
0.9859
0.0141
0.9815
0.0185
0.9783
0.0217
0.9910
0.0090
0 (0)
255 (96)
12 (4)
267
1(1)
135 (88)
17 (11)
153
0 (0)
63 (91)
6 (9)
69
3 (1)
482 (93)
8 (7)
523
0.0225
0.9775
0.0621
0.9379
0.0435
0.9565
0.0421
0.9579
'k was not tested in K- subjects but assumed to be present.
'Percentages have been rounded and may not total 100%.
'Cod was not tested in Coh-) subjects but assumed to be present
4Dibwas not tested in Di(a-) subjects but assumed to be present.
that the computerized analysis of gene frequencies could not separate these two genes.
Only 2% of Cherokees and the mixed group
were Rh negative. No Rh-negative donors
were found among the 177 Creek and Choctaw studied. The frequency of M, S, Fya, and
Jka was higher than that of the Caucasian
population and similar to that of other Native Americans studied.
None of the first 300 donors studied were
positive for the Wr", He, V", Jsa, Mg, and
Kpa antigens. The Dia antigen was present
6
D.O. KASPRISIN ET AL.
in all four groups of Native Americans. The
highest percentage was among the Creeks.
Unlike the study by Pollitzer et al. (1962),
which concluded that the Dia antigen was
not present in the eastern Cherokees, this
study found significant numbers of Di(a+)
individuals among Oklahoma Cherokees, although less than the other groups in this
study.
DISCUSSION
The Dia antigen is found almost exclusively among the Mongoloid race. The highest rate is found in South and Central
American Indians, although there is considerable variation within a region. The rate
decreases among Indians the further north
one studies and is virtually absent in Alaska
and Western Canada. Many theories have
been proposed t o explain the origin of the
American Indian and the gene frequencies
reported in the various tribes. Whether the
variability in Native Americans is due to
diversification in a single slowly expanding
group through genetic drift and natural selection or due t o multiple migrations is unknown. It has been hypothesized by Mourant
et al. (1976)that the Dia antigen is absent in
the earliest arrivals to this hemisphere.
Therefore, if the antigen is absent in a population, that tribe may have arrived prior t o
carriers of the gene. Tills (1982)suggests that
there may have been as many as five migra-
tions of Indians in the Americas with varying percentages of Dia genes in these
populations. The recent review by Szathmary (1984) examines the question of a single migration or multiple migrations from
Asia to America and is of particular interest.
This study documents the existence of the
Dia antigen among the tribes that originated
in the Southeastern United States. The
Cherokee Indians are part of the Iroquoian
linguistic group, while the Creek and Choctaw tribes belong to the Muskhogean linguistic family. Linguistic similarity does not
necessarily imply similar genetic backgrounds. Although this study found several
differences in gene frequencies of red cell
antigens between the eastern and Oklahoma
Cherokees, the two groups are quite similar.
Table 6 compares the gene frequencies for
each blood group system studied in this project to the Snyder (1926) and Pollitzer et al.
(1962) studies. Since the majority of the tribe
was moved to Oklahoma, the small number
of Cherokees that remained in North Carolina, a relatively inbred population, may not
be truly representative of the Cherokee people. Pollitzer et al. (1962) were surprised at
the absence of the Dia antigen in the eastern
Cherokees. They noted that the Iroquois of
New York State, who are part of the same
linguistic group, demonstrated the Di(a+)
phenotype in 10% of the members studied.
The percentage of Dia is relatively low in the
TABLE 6. Comparison of gene frequencies in Eastern Cherokees with
Oklahoma Cherokees
Gene
0
A
B
R1
R2
Rz
R, or r
r', r", r y
MS
Ms
NS
Ns
K
k
Jk"
Jkb
FYa
FY"
Dia
Oklahoma
Cherokees:
% or more
Eastern
Cherokees:
full bloods
Eastern
Cherokees:
mixed
0.8609
0.1069
0.0322
0.5261
0.2490
0.0600
0.1649
0.0000
0.2528
0.4615
0.0969
0.1888
0.0114
0.9886
0.4733
0.5267
0.5739
0.4261
0.0225
0.9727
0.0182
0.0091
0.6154
0.2885
0.0577
0.0385
0.0000
0.3694
0.4319
0.0793
0.1194
0.0064
0.9936
0.4694
0.5306
0.5471
0.4529
0.0000
0.8257
0.1399
0.0344
0.6702
0.2447
0.0213
0.0638
0.0000
0.2444
0.4418
0.0322
0.2816
0.0053
0.9946
0.4574
0.5426
0.6580
0.3420
0.0000
BLOOD TYPES OF NATIVE AMERICANS OF OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma Cherokee, and sample selection
could easily account for the difference with
the eastern Cherokees. In addition, differing
patterns of intermarriage could also have
contributed to the differences. The Cherokees in this study were also found to have a
higher percentage of A, N, s, and r. In the
study by Spees et al. (1975), they studied
Cherokees from North Carolina who were at
least five-eighths Indian. They found similar
gene frequencies for the Rh system
m1=0.6613; R2=.2339; R,=0.0564; Ro or
r=0.0484). We calculated the ABO gene frequencies by the Bernstein method based on
the phenotype data published in this paper
(A=0.1073; B =0.0050; 0 =0.8877).
The Cherokees originated in the upper
Ohio River valley south of the Iroquois tribe.
The Iroquois and Cherokee tribes were bitter
enemies, and the Cherokees were pushed further south where they came into contact with
the Creeks and other tribes. Frequent struggles broke out between the Creeks and Cherokees during the 18th century. Prisoners
captured during wars were occasionally allowed to assimilate into the capturing tribe.
Because of the close proximity of the Cherokees with tribes with relatively high percentages of the Dia gene in their original home
as well as in Oklahoma, this gene may have
been introduced relatively recently if it was
not already present.
Noting the similarities and differences
found among the Creek, Choctaw, and Cherokee tribes, further delineation of other genetic markers would be of interest to help
clarify the origins and genetic interrelationship of these tribes. The blood center is now
examining the HLA types of the Cherokee,
Creek, and Choctaw tribes.
7
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The authors are grateful to Henry Gershowitz, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan
Medical School, for calculating the gene frequencies of the Rh and MNSs systems. We
also wish to acknowledge the help of the
many Native American leaders who endorsed and supported this work and the thousands of Native American blood donors for
their participation in this study and their
selfless contributions as blood donors.
LITERATURE CITED
Bernstein, F. (1930) Fortgesetzte Untersuchungen aus
der Theorie der Blutgruppen. Z. Indukt. Abstramm.
VererbLehre 56t233-272.
McClintock, C, Crow, M, Lawson, J, and Kasprisin, DO
(1984)The search for rare blood donors among Native
Americans. Med. Lab. Observer 16(10):70-74.
Morris, JW,Goins CR, and McReynolds EC (1976) Historical Atlas of Oklahoma. 2nd Edition. Norman, OK:
University of Oklahoma Press.
Mourant, AE, Kopec AC, and Domaniewska-Sobczak, K
(1976) The Distribution of Human Blood Groups and
Other Polymorphisms. London: Oxford University
Press, pp. 21, 117-122.
Pollitzer, WS, Hartmann, RC, Moore, H, Rosenfield, RE,
Smith, H, Hakim, S, Schmidt, PJ, and Leyshon, WC
(1962) Blood types of the Cherokee Indians. Am. J.
Phys. Anthropol. 20t33-43.
Snyder, LH (1926) Human blood groups: Their inheritance and racial significance. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol.
9t233-263.
Spees, EK, Woodbury, MA, Gottsch, LG, Nicely, PR, and
Amos, DB (1975) Heterogeneity of HL-A specificities
in the Cherokee Indians. In: Kissmeyer-Nielsen, F.
(ed): Histocompatibility Testing 1975. Copenhagen:
Munksgaard, pp. 219-224.
Szathmary, E J E (1984) Peopling of northern North
America: Clues from genetic studies. Acta Anthropogenet. 8:79-109.
Tills, D (1982) Blood groups of the Americans. Biotest
Bull. 3:212-221.
Wright, MH (1951)A Guide to the Indian Tribes of Oklahoma. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press,
pp. 1-300.
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