Hybrid mouse diversity panel: a panel of inbred mouse strains suitable for analysis of complex genetic traits.
ABSTRACT: 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: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: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:High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are nanoparticles with >80 associated proteins, phospholipids, cholesterol and cholesteryl esters. We have identified and quantified the ultracentrifugation isolated HDL proteome across 93 strains of mice, a diverse inbred strains of mice, Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel (HMDP).
Project description:The house mouse is a well-established model organism, particularly for studying the genetics of complex traits. However, most studies of mice use classical inbred strains, whose genomes derive from multiple species. Relatively little is known about the distribution of genetic variation among these species or how variation among strains relates to variation in the wild. We sequenced intronic regions of five X-linked loci in large samples of wild Mus domesticus and M. musculus, and we found low levels of nucleotide diversity in both species. We compared these data to published data from short portions of six X-linked and 18 autosomal loci in wild mice. We estimate that M. domesticus and M. musculus diverged <500,000 years ago. Consistent with this recent divergence, some gene genealogies were reciprocally monophyletic between these species, while others were paraphyletic or polyphyletic. In general, the X chromosome was more differentiated than the autosomes. We resequenced classical inbred strains for all 29 loci and found that inbred strains contain only a small amount of the genetic variation seen in wild mice. Notably, the X chromosome contains proportionately less variation among inbred strains than do the autosomes. Moreover, variation among inbred strains derives from differences between species as well as from differences within species, and these proportions differ in different genomic regions. Wild mice thus provide a reservoir of additional genetic variation that may be useful for mapping studies. Together these results suggest that wild mice will be a valuable complement to laboratory strains for studying the genetics of complex traits.
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:Inbred mouse strains play a critical role in biomedical research. Genetic homogeneity within inbred strains and their general amenability to genetic manipulation have made them an ideal resource for dissecting the physiological function(s) of individual genes. However, the inbreeding that makes inbred mice so useful also results in genetic divergence between them. This genetic divergence is often unaccounted for but may be a confounding factor when comparing studies that have utilized distinct inbred strains. Here, we compared the cardiac function of C57BL/6J mice to seven other commonly used inbred mouse strains: FVB/NJ, DBA/2J, C3H/HeJ, BALB/cJ, 129X1/SvJ, C57BL/10SnJ, and 129S1/SvImJ. The assays used to compare cardiac function were the ex vivo isolated Langendorff heart preparation and in vivo real-time hemodynamic analysis using conductance micromanometry. We report significant strain-dependent differences in cardiac function between C57BL/6J and other commonly used inbred strains. C57BL/6J maintained better cardiac function than most inbred strains after ex vivo ischemia, particularly compared with 129S1/SvImJ, 129X1/SvJ, and C57BL/10SnJ strains. However, during in vivo acute hypoxia 129X1/SvJ and 129S1/SvImJ maintained relatively normal cardiac function, whereas C57BL/6J animals showed dramatic cardiac decompensation. Additionally, C3H/HeJ showed rapid and marked cardiac decompensation in response to esmolol infusion compared with effects of other strains. These findings demonstrate the complex effects of genetic divergence between inbred strains on cardiac function. These results may help inform analysis of gene ablation or transgenic studies and further demonstrate specific quantitative traits that could be useful in discovery of genetic modifiers relevant to cardiac health and disease.
Project description:Investigation of sequence variation in common inbred mouse strains has revealed a segmented pattern in which regions of high and low variant density are intermixed. Furthermore, it has been suggested that allelic strain distribution patterns also occur in well defined blocks and consequently could be used to map quantitative trait loci (QTL) in comparisons between inbred strains. We report a detailed analysis of polymorphism distribution in multiple inbred mouse strains over a 4.8-megabase region containing a QTL influencing anxiety. Our analysis indicates that it is only partly true that the genomes of inbred strains exist as a patchwork of segments of sequence identity and difference. We show that the definition of haplotype blocks is not robust and that methods for QTL mapping may fail if they assume a simple block-like structure.
Project description:Genetic reference populations, particularly the BXD recombinant inbred (BXD RI) strains derived from C57BL/6J and DBA/2J mice, are a valuable resource for the discovery of the bio-molecular substrates and genetic drivers responsible for trait variation and covariation. This approach can be profitably applied in the analysis of susceptibility and mechanisms of drug and alcohol use disorders for which many predisposing behaviors may predict the occurrence and manifestation of increased preference for these substances. Many of these traits are modeled by common mouse behavioral assays, facilitating the detection of patterns and sources of genetic coregulation of predisposing phenotypes and substance consumption. Members of the Tennessee Mouse Genome Consortium (TMGC) have obtained phenotype data from over 250 measures related to multiple behavioral assays across several batteries: response to, and withdrawal from cocaine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; "ecstasy" (MDMA), morphine and alcohol; novelty seeking; behavioral despair and related neurological phenomena; pain sensitivity; stress sensitivity; anxiety; hyperactivity and sleep/wake cycles. All traits have been measured in both sexes in approximately 70 strains of the recently expanded panel of BXD RI strains. Sex differences and heritability estimates were obtained for each trait, and a comparison of early (N = 32) and recent (N = 37) BXD RI lines was performed. Primary data are publicly available for heritability, sex difference and genetic analyses using the MouseTrack database, and are also available in GeneNetwork.org for quantitative trait locus (QTL) detection and genetic analysis of gene expression. Together with the results of related studies, these data form a public resource for integrative systems genetic analysis of neurobehavioral traits.
Project description:Micro-RNAs (miRNAs) are short, single-stranded, noncoding RNAs that are involved in the regulation of protein-coding genes at the level of messenger RNA (mRNA). They are involved in the regulation of numerous traits, including developmental timing, apoptosis, immune function, and neuronal development. To better understand how the expression of the miRNAs themselves is regulated, we looked for miRNA expression differences among four mouse inbred strains, A/J, BALB/cJ, C57BL/6J, and DBA/2J, in one tissue, the hippocampus. A total of 166 miRNA RT-PCR assays were used to screen RNA pools for each strain. Twenty miRNA species that were markedly different between strains were further investigated using eight individual samples per strain, and 11 miRNAs showed significant differences across strains (p < 0.05). This is the first observation of miRNA expression differences across inbred mice strains. We conducted an in silico correlation analysis of the expression of these differentially expressed miRNAs with phenotype data and mRNA expression to better characterise the effects of these miRNAs on both phenotype and the regulation of mRNA expression. This approach has allowed us to nominate miRNAs that have potential roles in anxiety, exploration, and learning and memory.
Project description:This study aimed to perform gene expression quantitative trait locus mapping (eQTL) in the livers of a panel of 36 laboratory inbred strains. Mice were dosed with a saline solution by oral gavage and sacrificed at 24 hours. Livers were removed at sacrifice, RNA was extracted and gene expression was assayed using the Agilent G4121A array. Keywords: eQTL, mouse, liver Overall design: 73 arrays were run on 36 laboratory inbred strains, with one to three arrays per strain.