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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Localization of atherosclerosis susceptibility loci to chromosomes 4 and 6 using the Ldlr knockout mouse model.

Atherosclerosis is a complex disease resulting from the interaction of multiple genes. We have used the Ldlr knockout mouse model in an interspecific genetic cross to map atherosclerosis susceptibility loci. A total of 174 (MOLF/Ei x B6.129S7-Ldlr(tm1Her)) x C57BL/6J-Ldlr(tm1Her) backcross mice, homozygous for the Ldlr null allele, were fed a Western-type diet for 3 months and then killed for quantification of aortic lesions. A genome scan was carried out by using DNA pools and microsatellite markers spaced at approximately 18-centimorgan intervals. Quantitative trait locus analysis of individual backcross mice confirmed linkages to chromosomes 4 (Athsq1, logarithm of odds = 6.2) and 6 (Athsq2, logarithm of odds = 6.7). Athsq1 affected lesions in females only whereas Athsq2 affected both sexes. Among females, the loci accounted for approximately 50% of the total variance of lesion area. The susceptible allele at Athsq1 was derived from the MOLF/Ei genome whereas the susceptible allele at Athsq2 was derived from C57BL/6J. Inheritance of susceptible alleles at both loci conferred a 2-fold difference in lesion area, suggesting an additive effect of Athsq1 and Athsq2. No associations were observed between the quantitative trait loci and levels of plasma total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high density lipoprotein cholesterol, insulin, or body weight. We provide strong evidence for complex inheritance of atherosclerosis in mice with elevated plasma low density lipoprotein cholesterol and show a major influence of nonlipoprotein-related factors on disease susceptibility. Athsq1 and Athsq2 represent candidate susceptibility loci for human atherosclerosis, most likely residing on chromosomes 1p36--32 and 12p13--12, respectively.[1]


  1. Localization of atherosclerosis susceptibility loci to chromosomes 4 and 6 using the Ldlr knockout mouse model. Welch, C.L., Bretschger, S., Latib, N., Bezouevski, M., Guo, Y., Pleskac, N., Liang, C.P., Barlow, C., Dansky, H., Breslow, J.L., Tall, A.R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
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