Hypothalamic transcriptome of male mice on high fat diet, from 99 strains
ABSTRACT: Previous studies had shown that integration of genome wide expression profiles, in metabolic tissues, with genetic and phenotypic variance, provided valuable insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms. We used RNA-Seq to characterize hypothalamic transcriptome in 99 inbred strains of mice from the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP), a reference resource population for cardiovascular and metabolic traits. We report numerous novel transcripts supported by proteomic analyses, as well as novel non coding RNAs. High resolution genetic mapping of transcript levels in HMDP, reveals both local and trans expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTLs) demonstrating 2 trans eQTL "hotspots" associated with expression of hundreds of genes. We also report thousands of alternative splicing events regulated by genetic variants. Finally, comparison with about 150 metabolic and cardiovascular traits revealed many highly significant associations. Our data provides a rich resource for understanding the many physiologic functions mediated by the hypothalamus and their genetic regulation. 282 samples, 3 biological replicates per strain
Project description:Previous studies had shown that the integration of genome wide expression profiles, in metabolic tissues, with genetic and phenotypic variance, provided valuable insight into the underlying molecular mechanisms. We used RNA-Seq to characterize hypothalamic transcriptome in 99 inbred strains of mice from the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP), a reference resource population for cardiovascular and metabolic traits. We report numerous novel transcripts supported by proteomic analyses, as well as novel non coding RNAs. High resolution genetic mapping of transcript levels in HMDP, reveals both local and trans expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTLs) demonstrating 2 trans eQTL 'hotspots' associated with expression of hundreds of genes. We also report thousands of alternative splicing events regulated by genetic variants. Finally, comparison with about 150 metabolic and cardiovascular traits revealed many highly significant associations. Our data provide a rich resource for understanding the many physiologic functions mediated by the hypothalamus and their genetic regulation.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Lipocalin-2 (LCN2) is a secreted protein involved in innate immunity and has also been associated with several cardiometabolic traits in both mouse and human studies. However, the causal relationship of LCN2 to these traits is unclear, and most studies have examined only males. METHODS:Using adeno-associated viral vectors we expressed LCN2 in either adipose or liver in a tissue specific manner on the background of a whole-body Lcn2 knockout or wildtype mice. Metabolic phenotypes including body weight, body composition, plasma and liver lipids, glucose homeostasis, insulin resistance, mitochondrial phenotyping, and metabolic cage studies were monitored. RESULTS:We studied the genetics of LCN2 expression and associated clinical traits in both males and females in a panel of 100 inbred strains of mice (HMDP). The natural variation in Lcn2 expression across the HMDP exhibits high heritability, and genetic mapping suggests that it is regulated in part by Lipin1 gene variation. The correlation analyses revealed striking tissue dependent sex differences in obesity, insulin resistance, hepatic steatosis, and dyslipidemia. To understand the causal relationships, we examined the effects of expression of LCN2 selectively in liver or adipose. On a Lcn2-null background, LCN2 expression in white adipose promoted metabolic disturbances in females but not males. It acted in an autocrine/paracrine manner, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction and an upregulation of inflammatory and fibrotic genes. On the other hand, on a null background, expression of LCN2 in liver had no discernible impact on the traits examined despite increasing the levels of circulating LCN2 more than adipose LCN2 expression. The mechanisms underlying the sex-specific action of LCN2 are unclear, but our results indicate that adipose LCN2 negatively regulates its receptor, LRP2 (or megalin), and its repressor, ER?, in a female-specific manner and that the effects of LCN2 on metabolic traits are mediated in part by LRP2. CONCLUSIONS:Following up on our population-based studies, we demonstrate that LCN2 acts in a highly sex- and tissue-specific manner in mice. Our results have important implications for human studies, emphasizing the importance of sex and the tissue source of LCN2.
Project description:We have developed an association-based approach using classical inbred strains of mice in which we correct for population structure, which is very extensive in mice, using an efficient mixed-model algorithm. Our approach includes inbred parental strains as well as recombinant inbred strains in order to capture loci with effect sizes typical of complex traits in mice (in the range of 5% of total trait variance). Over the last few years, we have typed the hybrid mouse diversity panel (HMDP) strains for a variety of clinical traits as well as intermediate phenotypes and have shown that the HMDP has sufficient power to map genes for highly complex traits with resolution that is in most cases less than a megabase. In this essay, we review our experience with the HMDP, describe various ongoing projects, and discuss how the HMDP may fit into the larger picture of common diseases and different approaches.
Project description:Genetic variations in blood cell parameters can impact clinical traits. We report here the mapping of blood cell traits in a panel of 100 inbred strains of mice of the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP) using genome-wide association (GWA). We replicated a locus previously identified in using linkage analysis in several genetic crosses for mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and a number of other red blood cell traits on distal chromosome 7. Our peak for SNP association to MCV occurred in a linkage disequilibrium (LD) block spanning from 109.38 to 111.75 Mb that includes Hbb-b1, the likely causal gene. Altogether, we identified five loci controlling red blood cell traits (on chromosomes 1, 7, 11, 12, and 16), and four of these correspond to loci for red blood cell traits reported in a recent human GWA study. For white blood cells, including granulocytes, monocytes, and lymphocytes, a total of six significant loci were identified on chromosomes 1, 6, 8, 11, 12, and 15. An average of ten candidate genes were found at each locus and those were prioritized by examining functional variants in the HMDP such as missense and expression variants. These results provide intermediate phenotypes and candidate loci for genetic studies of atherosclerosis and cancer as well as inflammatory and immune disorders in mice.
Project description:Identifying methylation quantitative trait loci (meQTLs) and integrating them with disease-associated variants from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) may illuminate functional mechanisms underlying genetic variant-disease associations. Here, we perform GWAS of >415 thousand CpG methylation sites in whole blood from 4170 individuals and map 4.7 million cis- and 630 thousand trans-meQTL variants targeting >120 thousand CpGs. Independent replication is performed in 1347 participants from two studies. By linking cis-meQTL variants with GWAS results for cardiovascular disease (CVD) traits, we identify 92 putatively causal CpGs for CVD traits by Mendelian randomization analysis. Further integrating gene expression data reveals evidence of cis CpG-transcript pairs causally linked to CVD. In addition, we identify 22 trans-meQTL hotspots each targeting more than 30 CpGs and find that trans-meQTL hotspots appear to act in cis on expression of nearby transcriptional regulatory genes. Our findings provide a powerful meQTL resource and shed light on DNA methylation involvement in human diseases.
Project description:Common forms of atherosclerosis involve multiple genetic and environmental factors. While human genome-wide association studies have identified numerous loci contributing to coronary artery disease and its risk factors, these studies are unable to control environmental factors or examine detailed molecular traits in relevant tissues. We now report a study of natural variations contributing to atherosclerosis and related traits in over 100 inbred strains of mice from the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP). The mice were made hyperlipidemic by transgenic expression of human apolipoprotein E-Leiden (APOE-Leiden) and human cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP). The mice were examined for lesion size and morphology as well as plasma lipid, insulin and glucose levels, and blood cell profiles. A subset of mice was studied for plasma levels of metabolites and cytokines. We also measured global transcript levels in aorta and liver. Finally, the uptake of acetylated LDL by macrophages from HMDP mice was quantitatively examined. Loci contributing to the traits were mapped using association analysis, and relationships among traits were examined using correlation and statistical modeling. A number of conclusions emerged. First, relationships among atherosclerosis and the risk factors in mice resemble those found in humans. Second, a number of trait-loci were identified, including some overlapping with previous human and mouse studies. Third, gene expression data enabled enrichment analysis of pathways contributing to atherosclerosis and prioritization of candidate genes at associated loci in both mice and humans. Fourth, the data provided a number of mechanistic inferences; for example, we detected no association between macrophage uptake of acetylated LDL and atherosclerosis. Fifth, broad sense heritability for atherosclerosis was much larger than narrow sense heritability, indicating an important role for gene-by-gene interactions. Sixth, stepwise linear regression showed that the combined variations in plasma metabolites, including LDL/VLDL-cholesterol, trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), arginine, glucose and insulin, account for approximately 30 to 40% of the variation in atherosclerotic lesion area. Overall, our data provide a rich resource for studies of complex interactions underlying atherosclerosis.
Project description:We report a multi-omic study of sex differences and gene-by-sex interactions across a panel of 100 inbred strains of mice (the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel, HMDP), with a focus on metabolic and cardiovascular traits. For all traits examined, including obesity, insulin resistance, fatty liver, atherosclerosis, and gut microbiota composition, sex differences were influenced by genetic background. Loci identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of the traits were frequently influenced by sex. Lyplal1, a gene implicated in human obesity, was shown to underlie a sex-specific locus for diet induced obesity. Many of the sex-dependent traits showed interdependencies as judged by correlation and shared gene expression patterns, indicating higher order regulation. Global gene expression analyses of tissues across the HMDP indicated that sex differences in mitochondrial functions in adipose contributed to many of the traits. Consistent with this, we observed that females tended to be more resistant to the adverse effects of a high fat diet, with smaller adipocytes and increased “browning” of white adipose tissue as compared to males. Sex-specific differences in mitochondrial activity were confirmed by examining respiration of isolated mitochondria. Gonadectomy experiments revealed thousands of genes influenced by sex hormones. In liver, a tissue exhibiting particularly strong differences in gene expression between tissues, sex hormones appeared to be the primary driver of the differences, whereas in adipose organizational effects of sex appeared to be more important. Overall design: Sixteen male and sixteen female C57BL/6J were purchased from The Jackson Laboratory (Bar Harbor). Mice were either maintained on a chow diet (Ralston Purina Company) or placed on an HF/HS diet (Research Diets D12266B) at 8 weeks of age until 16 weeks of age. At 6 weeks of age the mice were gonadectomized under isoflurane anesthesia. Scrotal regions of male mice were bilaterally incised, testes removed, and the incisions closed with wound clips. Ovaries of female mice were removed through an incision just below the rib cage. There were four mice per group. The muscle layer was sutured, and the incision closed with wound clips. In sham-operated control mice, incisions were made and closed as described above. The gonads were briefly manipulated, but remained intact. Gonadal fat and liver samples were taken for RNASeq expression profiling.
Project description:Although genetic predisposition influences the onset and progression of insulin resistance and diabetes, dietary nutrients are critical. In general, protein is beneficial relative to carbohydrate and fat but dependent on protein source. Our recent study demonstrated that 70% replacement of dietary casein protein with the equivalent quantity of protein derived from herring milt protein hydrolysate (HMPH; herring milt with proteins being enzymatically hydrolyzed) significantly improved insulin resistance and glucose homeostasis in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. As production of protein hydrolysate increases the cost of the product, it is important to determine whether a simply dried and ground herring milt product possesses similar benefits. Therefore, the current study was conducted to investigate the effect of herring milt dry powder (HMDP) on glucose control and the associated metabolic phenotypes and further to compare its efficacy with HMPH. Male C57BL/6J mice on a high-fat diet for 7 weeks were randomized based on body weight and blood glucose into three groups. One group continued on the high-fat diet and was used as the insulin-resistant/diabetic control and the other two groups were given the high-fat diet modified to have 70% of casein protein being replaced with the same amount of protein from HMDP or HMPH. A group of mice on a low-fat diet all the time was used as the normal control. The results demonstrated that mice on the high-fat diet increased weight gain and showed higher blood concentrations of glucose, insulin, and leptin, as well as impaired glucose tolerance and pancreatic ?-cell function relative to those on the normal control diet. In comparison with the high-fat diet, the replacement of 70% dietary casein protein with the same amount of HMDP or HMPH protein decreased weight gain and significantly improved the aforementioned biomarkers, insulin sensitivity or resistance, and ?-cell function. The HMDP and HMPH showed similar effects on every parameter except blood lipids where HMDP decreased total cholesterol and non-HDL-cholesterol levels while the effect of HMPH was not significant. The results demonstrate that substituting 70% of dietary casein protein with the equivalent amount of HMDP or HMPH protein protects against obesity and diabetes, and HMDP is also beneficial to cholesterol homeostasis.
Project description:Genome-wide association studies have identified many genetic variants associated with complex traits. However, at only a minority of loci have the molecular mechanisms mediating these associations been characterized. In parallel, whereas cis regulatory patterns of gene expression have been extensively explored, the identification of trans regulatory effects in humans has attracted less attention. Here we show that the type 2 diabetes and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol-associated cis-acting expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) of the maternally expressed transcription factor KLF14 acts as a master trans regulator of adipose gene expression. Expression levels of genes regulated by this trans-eQTL are highly correlated with concurrently measured metabolic traits, and a subset of the trans-regulated genes harbor variants directly associated with metabolic phenotypes. This trans-eQTL network provides a mechanistic understanding of the effect of the KLF14 locus on metabolic disease risk and offers a potential model for other complex traits.
Project description:Significant advances have been made in the discovery of genes affecting bone mineral density (BMD); however, our understanding of its genetic basis remains incomplete. In the current study, genome-wide association (GWA) and co-expression network analysis were used in the recently described Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP) to identify and functionally characterize novel BMD genes. In the HMDP, a GWA of total body, spinal, and femoral BMD revealed four significant associations (-log10P>5.39) affecting at least one BMD trait on chromosomes (Chrs.) 7, 11, 12, and 17. The associations implicated a total of 163 genes with each association harboring between 14 and 112 genes. This list was reduced to 26 functional candidates by identifying those genes that were regulated by local eQTL in bone or harbored potentially functional non-synonymous (NS) SNPs. This analysis revealed that the most significant BMD SNP on Chr. 12 was a NS SNP in the additional sex combs like-2 (Asxl2) gene that was predicted to be functional. The involvement of Asxl2 in the regulation of bone mass was confirmed by the observation that Asxl2 knockout mice had reduced BMD. To begin to unravel the mechanism through which Asxl2 influenced BMD, a gene co-expression network was created using cortical bone gene expression microarray data from the HMDP strains. Asxl2 was identified as a member of a co-expression module enriched for genes involved in the differentiation of myeloid cells. In bone, osteoclasts are bone-resorbing cells of myeloid origin, suggesting that Asxl2 may play a role in osteoclast differentiation. In agreement, the knockdown of Asxl2 in bone marrow macrophages impaired their ability to form osteoclasts. This study identifies a new regulator of BMD and osteoclastogenesis and highlights the power of GWA and systems genetics in the mouse for dissecting complex genetic traits.