Functional genomic architecture of predisposition to voluntary exercise in mice: expression QTL in the brain.
ABSTRACT: The biological basis of voluntary exercise is complex and simultaneously controlled by peripheral (ability) and central (motivation) mechanisms. The accompanying natural reward, potential addiction, and the motivation associated with exercise are hypothesized to be regulated by multiple brain regions, neurotransmitters, peptides, and hormones. We generated a large (n = 815) advanced intercross line of mice (G(4)) derived from a line selectively bred for increased wheel running (high runner) and the C57BL/6J inbred strain. We previously mapped multiple quantitative trait loci (QTL) that contribute to the biological control of voluntary exercise levels, body weight, and composition, as well as changes in body weight and composition in response to short-term exercise. Currently, using a subset of the G(4) population (n = 244), we examined the transcriptional landscape relevant to neurobiological aspects of voluntary exercise by means of global mRNA expression profiles from brain tissue. We identified genome-wide expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) regulating variation in mRNA abundance and determined the mode of gene action and the cis- and/or trans-acting nature of each eQTL. Subsets of cis-acting eQTL, colocalizing with QTL for exercise or body composition traits, were used to identify candidate genes based on both positional and functional evidence, which were further filtered by correlational and exclusion mapping analyses. Specifically, we discuss six plausible candidate genes (Insig2, Socs2, DBY, Arrdc4, Prcp, IL15) and their potential role in the regulation of voluntary activity, body composition, and their interactions. These results develop a potential initial model of the underlying functional genomic architecture of predisposition to voluntary exercise and its effects on body weight and composition within a neurophysiological framework.
Project description:Motivation and ability both underlie voluntary exercise, each with a potentially unique genetic architecture. Muscle structure and function are one of many morphological and physiological systems acting to simultaneously determine exercise ability. We generated a large (n = 815) advanced intercross line of mice (G4) derived from a line selectively bred for increased wheel running (high runner) and the C57BL/6J inbred strain. We previously mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) contributing to voluntary exercise, body composition, and changes in body composition as a result of exercise. Using brain tissue in a subset of the G4 (n = 244), we have also previously reported expression QTL (eQTL) colocalizing with the QTL for the higher-level phenotypes. Here, we examined the transcriptional landscape of hind limb muscle tissue via global mRNA expression profiles. Correlations revealed an ?1,168% increase in significant relationships between muscle transcript expression levels and the same exercise and body composition phenotypes examined previously in the brain. The exercise trait most often significantly correlated with gene expression in the brain was running duration while in the muscle it was maximum running speed. This difference may indicate that time spent engaging in exercise behavior may be more influenced by central (neurobiological) mechanisms, while intensity of exercise may be largely controlled by peripheral mechanisms. Additionally, we used subsets of cis-acting eQTL, colocalizing with QTL, to identify candidate genes based on both positional and functional evidence. We discuss three plausible candidate genes (Insig2, Prcp, Sparc) and their potential regulatory role.
Project description:The regulation of body weight and composition is complex, simultaneously affected by genetic architecture, the environment, and their interactions. We sought to analyze the complex phenotypic relationships between voluntary exercise, food consumption, and changes in body weight and composition and simultaneously localize quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling these traits. A large (n = 815) murine advanced intercross line (G(4)) was created from a reciprocal cross between a high-running line and the inbred strain C57BL/6J. Body weight and composition (% fat, % lean) were measured at 4, 6, and 8 wk of age. After measurements at 8 wk of age, mice were given access to running wheels, during which food consumption was quantified and after which body weight and composition were assessed to evaluate exercise-induced changes. Phenotypic correlations indicated that the relationship between exercise and overall change in weight and adiposity depended on body composition before the initiation of exercise. Interval mapping revealed QTL for body weight, % fat, and % lean at 4, 6, and 8 wk of age. Furthermore, QTL were observed for food consumption and changes in weight, % fat, and % lean in response to short-term exercise. Here we provide some clarity for the relationship between weight loss, reduction in adiposity, food consumption, and exercise. Simultaneously, we reinforce the genetic basis for body weight and composition with some independent loci controlling growth at different ages. Finally, we present unique QTL providing insight regarding variation in weight loss and reduction in adiposity in response to exercise.
Project description:The potential utility of the Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse resource was evaluated to better understand complex traits related to energy balance. A primary focus was to examine if genetic diversity in emerging CC lines (pre-CC) would translate into equivalent phenotypic diversity. Second, we mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) for 15 metabolism- and exercise-related phenotypes in this population. We evaluated metabolic and voluntary exercise traits in 176 pre-CC lines, revealing phenotypic variation often exceeding that seen across the eight founder strains from which the pre-CC was derived. Many phenotypic correlations existing within the founder strains were no longer significant in the pre-CC population, potentially representing reduced linkage disequilibrium (LD) of regions harboring multiple genes with effects on energy balance or disruption of genetic structure of extant inbred strains with substantial shared ancestry. QTL mapping revealed five significant and eight suggestive QTL for body weight (Chr 4, 7.54 Mb; CI 3.32-10.34 Mb; Bwq14), body composition, wheel running (Chr 16, 33.2 Mb; CI 32.5-38.3 Mb), body weight change in response to exercise (1: Chr 6, 77.7Mb; CI 72.2-83.4 Mb and 2: Chr 6, 42.8 Mb; CI 39.4-48.1 Mb), and food intake during exercise (Chr 12, 85.1 Mb; CI 82.9-89.0 Mb). Some QTL overlapped with previously mapped QTL for similar traits, whereas other QTL appear to represent novel loci. These results suggest that the CC will be a powerful, high-precision tool for examining the genetic architecture of complex traits such as those involved in regulation of energy balance.
Project description:Obesity is a leading risk factor for endometrial cancer (EC), particularly Type I forms, which are increasing in the U.S. Although death rates from most cancers have been decreasing, overall mortality in EC is increasing in the U.S. EC survivors' poor fitness combined with their surgical treatments may make weight loss particularly challenging. High intensity exercise increases neurotrophins and neurological reward via altered striatal dopamine in animals, and, in humans, chronic high intensity exercise enhances meal-induced satiety and may reduce hedonic eating. "Assisted" exercise, a mode of exercise whereby a patient's voluntary exercise rate is augmented mechanically, may modulate brain dopamine levels in Parkinson's Disease patients but has not been previously evaluated as a treatment for obesity.We describe the rationale and design of the REWARD trial, which has the overarching goal of randomizing 120 obese EC survivors to "assisted" or voluntary rate cycling to evaluate the efficacy of "assisted" exercise in enhancing and sustaining weight loss. Patients in both arms will receive 3 days/week of supervised exercise and 1 day/week of a group dietary behavioral intervention for 16 weeks and, then, will be followed for 6 months.The primary outcome is weight loss. Secondary outcomes include measures for body composition, fitness, eating behavior, exercise motivation and, quality of life as well as cognition and food reward and motivation as assessed by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) tasks.If successful, the REWARD program could be extended to help sustain weight loss in obese cancer and non-cancer patients.
Project description:Driven by the recent obesity epidemic, interest in understanding the complex genetic and environmental basis of body weight and composition is great. We investigated this by searching for quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting a number of weight and adiposity traits in a G(10) advanced intercross population produced from crosses of mice in inbred strain C57BL/6J with those in a strain selected for high voluntary wheel running. The mice in this population were fed either a high-fat or a control diet throughout the study and also measured for four exercise traits prior to death, allowing us to test for pre- and postexercise QTLs as well as QTL-by-diet and QTL-by-exercise interactions. Our genome scan uncovered a number of QTLs, of which 40% replicated QTLs previously found for similar traits in an earlier (G(4)) generation. For those replicated QTLs, the confidence intervals were reduced from an average of 19 Mb in the G(4) to 8 Mb in the G(10). Four QTLs on chromosomes 3, 8, 13, and 18 were especially prominent in affecting the percentage of fat in the mice. About of all QTLs showed interactions with diet, exercise, or both, their genotypic effects on the traits showing a variety of patterns depending on the diet or level of exercise. It was concluded that the indirect effects of these QTLs provide an underlying genetic basis for the considerable variability in weight or fat loss typically found among individuals on the same diet and/or exercise regimen.
Project description:The aim of this study was to examine whether a type of exercise favors better compliance with a prescribed diet, higher eating-related motivation, healthier diet composition or greater changes in body composition in overweight and obese subjects. One hundred and sixty-two (males n = 79), aged 18-50 years, were randomized into four intervention groups during 24 weeks: strength, endurance, combined strength + endurance and guideline-based physical activity; all in combination with a 25-30% caloric restriction diet. A food frequency questionnaire and a "3-day food and drink record" were applied pre- and post-intervention. Diet and exercise-related motivation levels were evaluated with a questionnaire developed for this study. Body composition was assessed by DXA and habitual physical activity was measured by accelerometry. Body weight, body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage decreased and lean body mass increased after the intervention, without differences by groups. No interactions were observed between intervention groups and time; all showing a decreased in energy intake (p < 0.001). Carbohydrate and protein intakes increased, and fat intake decreased from pre- to post-intervention without significant interactions with intervention groups, BMI category or gender (p < 0.001). Diet-related motivation showed a tendency to increase from pre- to post-intervention (70.0 ± 0.5 vs 71.0 ± 0.6, p = 0.053), without significant interactions with intervention groups, BMI or gender. Regarding motivation for exercise, gender x time interactions were observed (F(1,146) = 7.452, p = 0.007): Women increased their motivation after the intervention (pre: 17.6 ± 0.3, post: 18.2 ± 0.3), while men maintained it. These findings suggest that there are no substantial effects of exercise type on energy intake, macronutrient selection or body composition changes. After a six-month weight loss program, individuals did not reduce their motivation related to diet or exercise, especially women. Individuals who initiate a long-term exercise program do not increase their energy intake in a compensatory fashion, if diet advices are included.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Shifts in body composition, such as accumulation of body fat, can be a symptom of many chronic human diseases; hence, efforts have been made to investigate the genetic mechanisms that underlie body composition. For example, a few quantitative trait loci (QTL) have been discovered using genome-wide association studies, which will eventually lead to the discovery of causal mutations that are associated with tissue traits. Although some body composition QTL have been identified in mice, limited research has been focused on the imprinting and interaction effects that are involved in these traits. Previously, we found that Myostatin genotype, reciprocal cross, and sex interacted with numerous chromosomal regions to affect growth traits. RESULTS: Here, we report on the identification of muscle, adipose, and morphometric phenotypic QTL (pQTL), translation and transcription QTL (tQTL) and expression QTL (eQTL) by applying a QTL model with additive, dominance, imprinting, and interaction effects. Using an F2 population of 1000 mice derived from the Myostatin-null C57BL/6 and M16i mouse lines, six imprinted pQTL were discovered on chromosomes 6, 9, 10, 11, and 18. We also identified two IGF1 and two Atp2a2 eQTL, which could be important trans-regulatory elements. pQTL, tQTL and eQTL that interacted with Myostatin, reciprocal cross, and sex were detected as well. Combining with the additive and dominance effect, these variants accounted for a large amount of phenotypic variation in this study. CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicates that both imprinting and interaction effects are important components of the genetic model of body composition traits. Furthermore, the integration of eQTL and traditional QTL mapping may help to explain more phenotypic variation than either alone, thereby uncovering more molecular details of how tissue traits are regulated.
Project description:Exercise improves many aspects of human health, yet many people remain inactive even when exercise is prescribed. We previously created a backcross (BC) between mice selectively bred for high levels of voluntary wheel running (VWR) and fixed for "mini muscle" (MM), a recessive mutation causing approximately 50% reduction in triceps surae mass. We previously showed that BC mice having the MM trait ran faster and further than mice without MM and that MM maps to chromosome 11. Here, we genotyped the BC with genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling voluntary exercise and tissue and body mass traits and to determine whether these QTL interact with the MM locus or with sex. We detected 3 VWR QTL, representing the first voluntary exercise QTL mapped using this high running selection line, and 5 tissue mass QTL. Several interactions between trait QTL and the MM locus as well as sex were also identified. These results begin to explain the genetic architecture of VWR and further support MM as a locus having major effects, including its main effects on the muscle phenotype, its pleiotropic effects on wheel running and tissue mass traits, and through its interactions with other QTL and with sex.
Project description:We describe a method for integrating gene expression information into genome scans and show that this can substantially increase the statistical power of QTL mapping. The method has three stages. First, standard clustering methods identify small (size 5-20) groups of genes with similar expression patterns. Second, each gene group is tested for a causative genetic locus shared with the clinical trait of interest. This is done using an EM algorithm approach that treats genotype at the putative causative locus as an unobserved variable and combines expression information from all of the genes in the group to infer genotype information at the locus. Finally, expression QTL (eQTL) are mapped for each gene group that shares a causative locus with the clinical trait. Such eQTL are candidates for the causative locus. Simulation results show that this method has far superior power to standard QTL mapping techniques in many circumstances. We applied this method to existing data on mouse obesity. Our method identified 27 putative body weight QTL, whereas standard QTL mapping produced only one. Furthermore, most gene groups with body weight QTL included cis genes, so candidate genes could be immediately identified. Eleven body weight QTL produced 16 candidate genes that have been previously associated with body weight or body weight-related traits, thus validating our method. In addition, 15 of the 16 other loci produced 32 candidate genes that have not been associated with body weight. Thus, this method shows great promise for finding new causative loci for complex traits.
Project description:Exercise is essential for health, yet the amount, duration, and intensity that individuals engage in are strikingly variable, even under prescription. Our focus was to identify the locations and effects of quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling genetic predisposition for exercise-related traits, utilizing a large advanced intercross line (AIL) of mice. This AIL (G(4)) population originated from a reciprocal cross between mice with genetic propensity for increased voluntary exercise [high-runner (HR) line, selectively bred for increased wheel running] and the inbred strain C57BL/6J. After adjusting for family structure, we detected 32 significant and 13 suggestive QTL representing both daily running traits (distance, duration, average speed, and maximum speed) and the mean of these traits on days 5 and 6 (the selection criteria for HR) of a 6-day test conducted at 8 wk of age, with many co-localizing to similar genomic regions. Additionally, seven significant and five suggestive QTL were observed for the slope and intercept of a linear regression across all 6 days of running, some representing a combination of the daily traits. We also observed two significant and two suggestive QTL for body mass before exercise. These results, from a well-defined animal model, reinforce a genetic basis for the predisposition to engage in voluntary exercise, dissect this predisposition into daily segments across a continuous time period, and present unique QTL that may provide insight into the initiation, continuation, and temporal pattern of voluntary activity in mammals.