This study was designed to map the diabetes susceptibility gene(s) associated with the rat major histocompatibility complex (MHC) RT1. We have crossed spontaneously diabetic male rats bearing the recombinant RT1r8 haplotype with female rats of the ACI. 1r4 congenie strain. Three diabetic rats were determined to be homozygous for the r4 haplotype by serotyping. The absence of recombination within the MHC was confirmed by inspection of restriction-fragment-length patterns of the diabetic animals and the parental strains. In conjunction with previous breeding studies, this study maps the diabetes susceptibility gene to the right of the RT1-A locus and to the left of the RT1-C locus. A low incidence of diabetes in the F2 (4.5%) emphasizes the multifactorial nature of the susceptibility. The presence of depressed responsiveness of peripheral blood lymphocytes to concanavalin A stimulation increases the prevalence of the overt disease. An unusual feature of the diabetic syndrome in this study is the sparse or absent pancreatic lymphocytic inflammatory response, with true insulitis being a rare finding.

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