Fine mapping of the major bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis susceptibility locus in mice.
ABSTRACT: Susceptibility to fibrotic lung disease differs among people and among inbred strains of mice exposed to bleomycin where C57BL/6J mice are susceptible and C3H/HeJ mice are spared fibrotic disease. Genetic mapping studies completed in offspring derived from these inbred strains revealed the inheritance of C57BL/6J alleles at loci, including the major locus on chromosome 17, called Blmpf1 bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis 1, to be linked to pulmonary fibrosis in treated mice. In the present study, to reduce the interval of Blmpf1, we bred and phenotyped a panel of subcongenic mice with C3H/HeJ alleles in a C57BL/6J background. Subcongenic mice received bleomycin via osmotic minipump and the fibrosis phenotype was measured histologically. Inheritance of C3H/HeJ alleles from 34.31 to 35.02 Mb was revealed to spare bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis of C57BL/6J mice. From database analysis, 40 protein coding genes have been mapped to this reduced Blmpf1 interval, 18 of which contain C57BL/6J:C3H/HeJ sequence polymorphisms predicted to affect protein structure or to confer allele-dependent expression, and by RT-PCR analysis of lung tissue, we show 6 of these genes to differ in expression between C57BL/6J and C3H/HeJ mice. Genes known to regulate T cell numbers and activation (Btnl family, Notch4) are among the limited list of potential causal variants leading to lung disease in this model and the bronchoalveolar lavage of protected subcongenic mice had fewer lymphocytes, post bleomycin, than did C57BL/6J mice. We conclude that Blmpf1genes contributing to the susceptibility to bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis could alter the adaptive immune response of C57BL/6J mice.
Project description:Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease of significant morbidity, with no effective therapeutics and an as yet incompletely defined genetic basis. The chemotherapeutic agent bleomycin induces pulmonary fibrosis in susceptible C57BL/6J mice but not in mice of the C3H/HeJ strain, and this differential strain response has been used in prior studies to map bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis susceptibility loci named Blmpf1 and Blmpf2. In this study we isolated the quantitative trait gene underlying Blmpf2 initially by histologically phenotyping the bleomycin-induced lung disease of sublines of congenic mice to reduce the linkage region to 13 genes. Of these genes, Trim16 was identified to have strain-dependent expression in the lung, which we determined was due to sequence variation in the promoter. Over-expression of Trim16 by plasmid injection increased pulmonary fibrosis, and bronchoalveolar lavage levels of both interleukin 12/23-p40 and neutrophils, in bleomycin treated B6.C3H-Blmpf2 subcongenic mice compared to subcongenic mice treated with bleomycin only, which follows the C57BL/6J versus C3H/HeJ strain difference in these traits. In summary we demonstrate that genetic variation in Trim16 leads to its strain-dependent expression, which alters susceptibility to bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in mice.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Pulmonary fibrosis is a complex disease for which the predisposing genetic variants remain unknown. In a prior study, susceptibility to bleomycin induced pulmonary fibrosis was mapped to loci Blmpf1 and Blmpf2 on chromosomes 17 and 11, respectively, in a C57BL/6J (B6, susceptible) and C3Hf/KAM (C3H, resistant) mouse cross. METHODS: Herein, the genetic basis of bleomycin induced pulmonary fibrosis was investigated in an approach combining gene expression and sequencing data with previously mapped linkage intervals. RESULTS: In this study, gene expression analysis with microarrays revealed 1892 genes or ESTs (expressed sequence tags) to be differentially expressed between bleomycin treated B6 and C3H mice and 67 of these genetic elements map to Blmpf1 or Blmpf2. This group included genes involved in an oxidative stress response, in apoptosis, and in immune regulation. A comparison of the B6 and C3H sequence, for Blmpf1 and Blmpf2, made using the NCBI database and available C3H sequence, revealed approximately 35% of the genes in these regions contain non-synonymous coding sequence changes. An assessment of genotype/phenotype correlation among other inbred strains revealed 36% of these B6/C3H sequence variations predict for the known bleomycin induced fibrosis susceptibility of the DBA (susceptible) and A/J (resistant) mouse strains. CONCLUSIONS: Combining genomics approaches of differential gene expression and sequence variation potentially identifies approximately 5% the linked genes as fibrosis susceptibility candidate genes in this mouse cross.
Project description:Absence epilepsy is a common form of idiopathic generalized epilepsy whose etiology is poorly understood because of genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity. The inbred mouse strain C3H/He exhibits spontaneous absence seizures characterized by spike and wave discharges (SWD) on the electroencephalogram concomitant with behavioral arrest. Previous studies using the C3H/HeJ (HeJ) substrain identified a mutation in the Gria4 gene as a major susceptibility locus. In the present study, we found that two closely related substrains C3H/HeOuJ (OuJ) and C3H/HeSnJ, which have a similar SWD incidence as HeJ, do not contain the Gria4 mutation. Further analysis of backcross mice segregating OuJ and C57BL/6J alleles shows that, unlike the HeJ substrain, OuJ does not have a major locus for SWD but has suggestive loci at best that would explain only a fraction of the phenotypic variance. These results illustrate how the genetic etiology of a common neurological disorder can differ between substrains with similar phenotypes. We infer that all C3H strains are sensitized to SWD and that additional mutations affecting SWD arose or were fixed independently in the years since the substrains diverged.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a disease characterized by alveolar epithelial cell injury, inflammatory cell infiltration and deposition of extracellular matrix in lung tissue. As mouse models of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis display many of the same phenotypes observed in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, they have been used to study various aspects of the disease, including altered expression of microRNAs. RESULTS:In this work, microRNA expression profiling of the lungs from treated C57BL/6J mice, relative to that of untreated controls, was undertaken to determine which alterations in microRNAs could in part regulate the fibrosis phenotype induced by bleomycin delivered through mini-osmotic pumps. We identified 11 microRNAs, including miR-21 and miR-34a, to be significantly differentially expressed (P < 0.01) in lungs of bleomycin treated mice and confirmed these data with real time PCR measurements. In situ hybridization of both miR-21 and miR-34a indicated that they were expressed in alveolar macrophages. Using a previously reported gene expression profile, we identified 195 genes to be both predicted targets of the 11 microRNAs and of altered expression in bleomycin-induced lung disease of C57BL/6J mice. Pathway analysis with these 195 genes indicated that altered microRNA expression may be associated with hepatocyte growth factor signaling, cholecystokinin/gastrin-mediated signaling, and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) signaling, among others, in fibrotic lung disease. The relevance of the IGF-1 pathway in this model was then demonstrated by showing lung tissue of bleomycin treated C57BL/6J mice had increased expression of Igf1 and that increased numbers of Igf-1 positive cells, predominantly in macrophages, were detected in the lungs. CONCLUSIONS:We conclude that altered microRNA expression in macrophages is a feature which putatively influences the insulin-like growth factor signaling component of bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis.
Project description:Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) represents a complex clinical scenario of altered energy metabolism and increased fracture incidence. The C57BL/6 mouse model of diet-induced obesity has been used to study the mechanisms by which altered glucose homeostasis affects bone mass and quality, but genetic variations in substrains of C57BL/6 may have confounded data interpretation. This study investigated the long-term metabolic and skeletal consequences of two commonly used C57BL/6 substrains to a high fat (HF) diet. Male C57BL/6J, C57BL/6N, and the negative control strain, C3H/HeJ, mice were fed a control or HF diet for 24 wks. C57BL/6N mice on a HF diet demonstrated an increase in plasma insulin and blood glucose as early as 4?wk, whereas these responses were delayed in the C57BL/6J mice. The C57BL/6N mice exhibited more severe hepatic steatosis and inflammation. Only the C57BL/6N mice lost significant trabecular bone in response to the high fat diet. The C3H/HeJ mice were protected from bone loss. The data show that C57BL/6J and C57BL/6N mice differ in their metabolic and skeletal response when fed a HF diet. These substrain differences should be considered when designing experiments and are likely to have implications on data interpretation and reproducibility.
Project description:In an effort to identify genetic factors contributing to atherogenesis, we have studied inbred strains of mice that are susceptible (C57BL/6J) and resistant (C3H/HeJ) to diet-induced aortic fatty streak lesions. When maintained on a low-fat diet, HDL isolated from both strain C57BL/6J (B6) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) mice protect against LDL oxidation in a coculture model of the artery wall. However, when maintained on an atherogenic diet high in fat and cholesterol, the HDL isolated from B6 mice lose the capacity to protect, whereas HDL from C3H mice protect equally well. Associated with the loss in the ability of HDL to protect is a decrease in the activity of serum paraoxonase, a serum esterase carried on HDL that has previously been shown to protect against LDL oxidation in vitro. The levels of paraoxonase mRNA decreased in B6 mice upon challenge with the atherogenic diet but increased in C3H, indicating that paraoxonase production is under genetic control. In a set of recombinant inbred strains derived from the B6 and C3H parental strains, low paraoxonase mRNA levels segregated with aortic lesion development, supporting a role for paraoxonase in atherogenesis.
Project description:Exposure of the lung to radiation produces injury and inflammatory responses that result in microenvironmental alterations, which can promote the development of pneumonitis and/or pulmonary fibrosis. It has been shown that after other toxic insults, macrophages become phenotypically polarized in response to microenvironmental signals, orchestrating the downstream inflammatory responses. However, their contribution to the development of the late consequences of pulmonary radiation exposure remains unclear. To address this issue, fibrosis-prone C57BL/6J mice or pneumonitis-prone C3H/HeJ mice were whole-lung irradiated with 0 or 12.5 Gy and lung digests were collected between 3 and 26 weeks after radiation exposure. CD45(+) leukocytes were isolated and characterized by flow cytometry, and alveolar, interstitial and infiltrating macrophages were also detected. Ly6C, expressed by pro-inflammatory monocytes and macrophages, and mannose receptor (CD206), a marker of alternative activation, were assessed in each subpopulation. While the total number of pulmonary macrophages was depleted at 3 weeks after lung irradiation relative to age-matched controls in both C57 and C3H mice, identification of discrete subpopulations showed that this loss in cell number occurred in the alveolar, but not the interstitial or infiltrating, subsets. In the alveolar macrophages of both C57 and C3H mice, this correlated with a loss in the proportion of cells that expressed CD206 and F4/80. In contrast, in interstitial and infiltrating macrophages, the proportion of cells expressing these markers was increased at several time points after irradiation, with this response generally more pronounced in C3H mice. Radiation exposure was also associated with elevations in the proportion of alveolar and interstitial macrophage subpopulations expressing Ly6C and F4/80, with this response occurring at earlier time points in C57 mice. Although the radiation dose used in this study was not isoeffective for the inflammatory response in the two strains, the differences observed in the responses of these discrete macrophage populations between the fibrosis-prone versus pneumonitis-prone mice nonetheless suggest a possible role for these cells in the development of long-term consequences of pulmonary radiation exposure.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Genetic diversity and the heterogeneous nature of cardiac fibroblasts (CFbs) have hindered characterization of the molecular mechanisms that regulate cardiac fibrosis. The Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel offers a valuable tool to examine genetically diverse cardiac fibroblasts and their role in fibrosis. METHODS:Three strains of mice (C57BL/6J, C3H/HeJ, and KK/HlJ) were selected from the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel and treated with either isoproterenol (ISO) or saline by an intraperitoneally implanted osmotic pump. After 21 days, cardiac function and levels of fibrosis were measured by echocardiography and trichrome staining, respectively. Activation and proliferation of CFbs were measured by in vitro and in vivo assays under normal and injury conditions. RNA sequencing was done on isolated CFbs from each strain. Results were analyzed by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and validated by reverse transcription-qPCR, immunohistochemistry, and ELISA. RESULTS:ISO treatment in C57BL/6J, C3H/HeJ, and KK/HlJ mice resulted in minimal, moderate, and extensive levels of fibrosis, respectively (n=7-8 hearts per condition). Isolated CFbs treated with ISO exhibited strain-specific increases in the levels of activation but showed comparable levels of proliferation. Similar results were found in vivo, with fibroblast activation, and not proliferation, correlating with the differential levels of cardiac fibrosis after ISO treatment. RNA sequencing revealed that CFbs from each strain exhibit unique gene expression changes in response to ISO. We identified Ltbp2 as a commonly upregulated gene after ISO treatment. Expression of LTBP2 was elevated and specifically localized in the fibrotic regions of the myocardium after injury in mice and in human heart failure patients. CONCLUSIONS:This study highlights the importance of genetic variation in cardiac fibrosis by using multiple inbred mouse strains to characterize CFbs and their response to ISO treatment. Our data suggest that, although fibroblast activation is a response that parallels the extent of scar formation, proliferation may not necessarily correlate with levels of fibrosis. In addition, by comparing CFbs from multiple strains, we identified pathways as potential therapeutic targets and LTBP2 as a marker for fibrosis, with relevance to patients with underlying myocardial fibrosis.
Project description:Total lung RNA from 3 mouse strains after 18Gy thoracic irradiation. Thoracic cavity radiotherapy is limited by the development of alveolitis and fibrosis in susceptible patients. To define the response to 18 Gy pulmonary irradiation in mice, at the expression level, and to identify pathways which may influence the alveolitis and fibrosis phenotypes expression profiling was completed. Male mice of three strains, A/J (late alveolitis response), C3H/HeJ (C3H, early alveolitis response) and C57BL/6J (B6, fibrosis response) were exposed to thoracic radiation, euthanised when moribund and lung tissue gene expression was assessed with microarrays. treated vs. control in 3 strains