The H-Tx rat has fetal-onset hydrocephalus with a complex mode of inheritance. Previously, quantitative trait locus mapping using a backcross with Fischer F344 rats demonstrated genetic loci significantly linked to hydrocephalus on Chromosomes 10, 11, and 17. Hydrocephalus was preferentially associated with heterozygous alleles on Chrs 10 and 11 and with homozygous alleles on Chr 17. This study aimed to determine the phenotypic contribution of each locus by constructing single and multiple congenic strains. Single congenic rats were constructed using Fischer F344 as the recipient strain and a marker-assisted protocol. The homozygous strains were maintained for eight generations and the brains examined for dilated ventricles indicative for hydrocephalus. No congenic rats had severe (overt) hydrocephalus. A few pups and a significant number of adults had mild disease. The incidence was significantly higher in the C10 and C17 congenic strains than in the nonhydrocephalic F344 strain. Breeding to F344 to make F.H-Tx C10 or C11 rats heterozygous for the hydrocephalus locus failed to produce progeny with severe disease. Both bicongenic and tricongenic rats of different genotype combinations were constructed by crossing congenic rats. None had severe disease but the frequency of mild hydrocephalus in adults was similar to congenic rats and significantly higher than in the F344 strain. Rats with severe hydrocephalus were recovered in low numbers when single congenic or bicongenic rats were crossed with the parental H-Tx strain. It is concluded that the genetic and epigenetic factors contributing to severe hydrocephalus in the H-Tx strain are more complex than originally anticipated.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2004
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