By use of newly developed subcongenic strains of mice from a parental B6.129-Il10 −/− knockout/congenic strain, we have narrowed the critical region for a new behavioral QTL, called Emo4, for open-field activity to a segment of Chromosome 1 between Erbb4 (68.4Mb) and B3gnt7 (86.2 Mb). We have also uncovered an additional QTL governing repetitive beam breaks in the open field. This QTL, called Reb1, maps to the interval between Asb1 (91.4 Mb) and NM_172851 (100.0 Mb) and is one of the first QTLs mapped for this type of behavior. Genome-wide microarray expression analyses were then undertaken to help to identify candidate genes that may be the cause of these genetic differences in open-field performance. In this effort, we analyzed global gene expression differences in the amygdalae by use of Affymetrix GeneChips between B6, B6.129-Il10 −/−, and B6.129R4. Several probe sets representing target Chr 1 genes were found that showed significantly differential expression in the subcongenic and congenic strains. Several candidate genes have been identified. One of these regions coincides with an homologous region in humans that has been associated with autism, a disease whose symptoms include repetitive actions. This study illustrates that the use of congenic strains combined with global gene expression analyses can produce a list of viable candidates. It further shows that caution should be observed when analyzing the effects of knockout/congenic strains because many of the gene expression differences in these comparisons could not be attributable to the ablated Il10 gene but rather to passenger gene effects.
Mammalian Genome – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 7, 2006
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