Molecular screening for the mutation associated with canine degenerative myelopathy (SOD1:c.118G > A) in German Shepherd dogs in Brazil.
ABSTRACT: Canine Degenerative Myelopathy is a late onset recessive autosomal disease characterized by a progressive ascending degeneration of the spinal cord. Two causal mutations are associated with this disease: a transition (c.118G>A) in exon 2 of the SOD1 that was described in several breeds and a transversion (c.52A>T) in exon 1 of the same gene described in Bernese Mountain dogs. The aim of this study was to understand the impact of the SOD1:c.118G > A mutation by genotyping a population of German Shepherd dogs in Brazil. A PCR-RFLP approach was used to genotype 97 healthy individuals belonging from the Northeast (Bahia and Pernambuco states) and South (Santa Catarina state) regions of Brazil. A total of 95 individuals were successfully genotyped resulting in an observed genotype frequency (with 95% confidence interval) of: 0.758 (0.672-0.844), 0.242 (0.156-0.328) and 0.000 (0.000-0.000) for "GG", "AG" and "AA" genotypes, respectively. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to describe the presence of the "A" allele associated with CDM (SOD1:c.118G > A) in German Shepherd dogs in Brazil and, as such, these results contribute toward important epidemiological data in this country and to the knowledge of the distribution of the aforementioned mutation worldwide.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Previous reports associated 2 mutant SOD1 alleles (SOD1:c.118A and SOD1:c.52T) with degenerative myelopathy in 6 canine breeds. The distribution of these alleles in other breeds has not been reported.<h4>Objective</h4>To describe the distribution of SOD1:c.118A and SOD1:c.52T in 222 breeds.<h4>Animals</h4>DNA from 33,747 dogs was genotyped at SOD1:c.118, SOD1:c.52, or both. Spinal cord sections from 249 of these dogs were examined.<h4>Methods</h4>Retrospective analysis of 35,359 previously determined genotypes at SOD1:c.118G>A or SOD1:c.52A>T and prospective survey to update the clinical status of a subset of dogs from which samples were obtained with a relatively low ascertainment bias.<h4>Results</h4>The SOD1:c.118A allele was found in cross-bred dogs and in 124 different canine breeds whereas the SOD1:c.52T allele was only found in Bernese Mountain Dogs. Most of the dogs with histopathologically confirmed degenerative myelopathy were SOD1:c.118A homozygotes, but 8 dogs with histopathologically confirmed degenerative myelopathy were SOD1:c.118A/G heterozygotes and had no other sequence variants in their SOD1 amino acid coding regions. The updated clinical conditions of dogs from which samples were obtained with a relatively low ascertainment bias suggest that SOD1:c.118A homozygotes are at a much higher risk of developing degenerative myelopathy than are SOD1:c.118A/G heterozygotes.<h4>Conclusions and clinical importance</h4>We conclude that the SOD1:c.118A allele is widespread and common among privately owned dogs whereas the SOD1:c.52T allele is rare and appears to be limited to Bernese Mountain Dogs. We also conclude that breeding to avoid the production of SOD1:c.118A homozygotes is a rational strategy.
Project description:Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is an adult-onset, chronic, progressive neurodegenerative disease reported in multiple canine breeds, including the German Shepherd Dog (GSD). Clinical signs include progressive motor neuron paralysis, which begins in the pelvic limbs and eventually leads to respiratory distress, which may necessitate euthanasia. A common DM-associated mutation is a single nucleotide substitution that causes an amino acid substitution (c.118G>A, p.E40K) in the canine <i>SOD1</i> gene. This <i>SOD1</i> mutation and the clinical progression rate of A/A risk genotype in the Japanese GSD population have not been analyzed before. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the frequency of the mutated allele and analyze the clinical progression rate in the Japanese GSD population. We studied 541 GSDs registered with the Japanese German Shepherd Dog Registration Society between 2000 and 2019. Genotyping was performed using real-time PCR with DNA extracted from the hair roots of each dog. The study revealed 330 G/G dogs (61%), 184 G/A dogs (34%), and 27 A/A dogs (5%), indicating a frequency of the mutant allele of 0.220, which are in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. We analyzed the clinical signs in A/A dogs with an age limit of 10 years based on information obtained from the dogs' owners. Of the seven A/A dogs older than 10 years, owners reported DM-related clinical signs, indicating a clinical progression rate of 100%. These results, further genotyping, and thorough clinical examinations of <i>SOD1</i> A/A risk genotype will help control and prevent DM in the Japanese GSD population.
Project description:Researchers who study the selection and breeding program criteria for military working dogs aim to help maximize the years of active duty service. Computed tomographic (CT) quantitative phenotyping has been previously described as a method for supporting these research studies. Funnel-shaped lumbar vertebral foramen malformations have been previously described in Labrador retriever military working dogs and proposed to be risk factors for impaired arterial perfusion of nerve tissues during exercise. Articular process dysplasia malformations have been previously described in varying dog breeds and proposed to be risk factors for articular process degenerative joint disease and vertebral foramen stenosis. Aims of this retrospective, cross-sectional study were to describe quantitative CT phenotyping methods for characterizing funnel-shaped lumbar vertebral foramina and articular process dysplasia malformations and to apply these methods in a comparison between groups of German shepherd and Belgian Malinois military working dogs. A military working dog hospital's database was searched for German shepherd and Belgian Malinois dogs aged <6 years that had CT scans of the lumbosacral region during the period of 2008-2016. Observers unaware of CT findings recorded available clinical data for each of the dogs. An observer unaware of clinical data recorded CT measures of funnel-shaped lumbar vertebral foramina and articular process dysplasia malformations for each of dogs and each of the lumbar vertebrae that were available in the scans. A total of 59 dogs were sampled: 41 German shepherd and 18 Belgian Malinois. Articular process dysplasia and funnel-shaped vertebral foramen phenotypic traits were present in both breeds in this sample, with the frequency and quantitative measure of these traits being greater in German shepherd dogs and heavier dogs. Lower weight dogs had a lesser degree of a funnel-shaped foramen at all sampled vertebral locations. A consistent relationship between articular process dysplasia measures and body weight was not seen. Computed tomography measures of funnel shaped vertebral foramina were greater in German shepherd vs. Belgian Malinois dogs at the L7 vertebra (P < 0.01). The CT measures of cranial articular process dysplasia were greater in German shepherd vs. Belgian Malinois dogs at the L4 (P < 0.01) and L5 (P < 0.05) vertebrae.
Project description:Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is the most common hereditary skeletal disorder in dogs. To identify common alleles associated with CHD, we genotyped 96 German Shepherd Dogs affected by mild, moderate and severe CHD and 96 breed, sex, age and birth year matched controls using the Affymetrix canine high density SNP chip. A mixed linear model analysis identified five SNPs associated with CHD scores on dog chromosomes (CFA) 19, 24, 26 and 34. These five SNPs were validated in a by sex, age, birth year and coancestry stratified sample of 843 German Shepherd Dogs including 277 unaffected dogs and 566 CHD-affected dogs. Mean coancestry coefficients among and within cases and controls were <0.1%. Genotype effects of these SNPs explained 20-32% of the phenotypic variance of CHD in German Shepherd Dogs employed for validation. Genome-wide significance in the validation data set could be shown for each one CHD-associated SNP on CFA24, 26 and 34. These SNPs are located within or in close proximity of genes involved in bone formation and related through a joint network. The present study validated positional candidate genes within two previously known quantitative trait loci (QTL) and a novel QTL for CHD in German Shepherd Dogs.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Canine hip dysplasia (HD) is a common polygenic trait characterized by hip malformation that results in osteoarthritis (OA). The condition in dogs is very similar to developmental dysplasia of the human hip which also leads to OA.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>A total of 721 dogs, including both an association and linkage population, were genotyped. The association population included 8 pure breeds (Labrador retriever, Greyhounds, German Shepherd, Newfoundland, Golden retriever, Rottweiler, Border Collie and Bernese Mountain Dog). The linkage population included Labrador retrievers, Greyhounds, and their crosses. Of these, 366 dogs were genotyped at ∼22,000 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci and a targeted screen across 8 chromosomes with ∼3,300 SNPs was performed on 551 dogs (196 dogs were common to both sets). A mixed linear model approach was used to perform an association study on this combined association and linkage population. The study identified 4 susceptibility SNPs associated with HD and 2 SNPs associated with hip OA.<h4>Conclusion/significance</h4>The identified SNPs included those near known genes (PTPRD, PARD3B, and COL15A1) reported to be associated with, or expressed in, OA in humans. This suggested that the canine model could provide a unique opportunity to identify genes underlying natural HD and hip OA, which are common and debilitating conditions in both dogs and humans.
Project description:Two hip quality phenotypes-a hip-extended score assigned by a board certified radiologist and the PennHIP distraction index-were analyzed to estimate genetic parameters and to calculate estimated breeding values used for selecting replacement breeders. Radiographs obtained at 12-18 months of age were available on 5,201 German Shepherd Dogs, 4,987 Labrador Retrievers and 2,308 Golden Retrievers. Obtained by fitting a two-trait model using Bayesian techniques, estimates of heritability for the hip-extended score were 0.76, 0.72, and 0.41 in German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers, respectively, while estimated heritabilities for distraction index were 0.60, 0.66 and 0.59, respectively. Genetic correlations between the two hip quality measures were -0.28 in German Shepherd Dogs, -0.21 in Labrador Retrievers, and -0.29 in Golden Retrievers. Genetic selection for improved hip quality based upon the hip extended score phenotype began in 1980. Among first generation puppies, 34% of 273 German Shepherd Dogs, 55% of 323 Labrador Retrievers, and 43% of 51 Golden Retrievers had an Excellent hip extended score. After 8 generations of selection, mostly based on estimated breeding values derived from the hip extended score, over 93% of 695 German Shepherd Dogs, 94% of 528 Labrador Retrievers, and 87% of 116 Golden Retrievers received an Excellent hip extended score. With respect to PennHIP distraction index values among these same dogs, median values were at or above 0.30 for all 3 breeds meaning that half or more of dogs possessing the Excellent hip-extended-score phenotype remained susceptible to developing the osteoarthritis of canine hip dysplasia. Genetic improvement of the hip-extended-view phenotype to its desired biological endpoint left a surprising proportion of dogs expressing sufficient joint laxity to place them in an osteoarthritis at-risk state as they age. Only by directly applying selection pressure to reduce distraction index was marked reduction in joint laxity noted.
Project description:Canine degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease prevalent in several dog breeds. Typically, the initial progressive upper motor neuron spastic and general proprioceptive ataxia in the pelvic limbs occurs at 8 years of age or older. If euthanasia is delayed, the clinical signs will ascend, causing flaccid tetraparesis and other lower motor neuron signs. DNA samples from 38 DM-affected Pembroke Welsh corgi cases and 17 related clinically normal controls were used for genome-wide association mapping, which produced the strongest associations with markers on CFA31 in a region containing the canine SOD1 gene. SOD1 was considered a regional candidate gene because mutations in human SOD1 can cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an adult-onset fatal paralytic neurodegenerative disease with both upper and lower motor neuron involvement. The resequencing of SOD1 in normal and affected dogs revealed a G to A transition, resulting in an E40K missense mutation. Homozygosity for the A allele was associated with DM in 5 dog breeds: Pembroke Welsh corgi, Boxer, Rhodesian ridgeback, German Shepherd dog, and Chesapeake Bay retriever. Microscopic examination of spinal cords from affected dogs revealed myelin and axon loss affecting the lateral white matter and neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions that bind anti-superoxide dismutase 1 antibodies. These inclusions are similar to those seen in spinal cord sections from ALS patients with SOD1 mutations. Our findings identify canine DM to be the first recognized spontaneously occurring animal model for ALS.
Project description:The introduction of trained sniffer dogs for COVID-19 detection could be an opportunity, as previously described for other diseases. Dogs could be trained to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the whiff of COVID-19. Dogs involved in the study were three, one male and two females from different breeds, Black German Shepherd, German Shepherd, and Dutch Shepherd. The training was performed using sweat samples from SARS-CoV2 positive patients and from SARS-Cov2 free patients admitted at the University Hospital Campus Bio-medico of Rome. Gauze with sweat was collected in a glass jar with a metal top and put in metal boxes used for dog training. The dog training protocol was performed in two phases: the olfactory conditioning and the olfactory discrimination research. The training planning was focused on the switch moment for the sniffer dog, the moment when the dog was able to identify VOCs specific for COVID-19. At this time, the dog was able to identify VOCs specific for COVID-19 with significant reliability, in terms of the number of correct versus incorrect (p < 0.0001) reporting. In conclusion, this protocol could provide a useful tool for sniffer dogs' training and their introduction in a mass screening context. It could be cheaper and faster than a conventional testing method.
Project description:Meeting humans is an everyday experience for most companion dogs, and their behavior in these situations and its genetic background is of major interest. Previous research in our laboratory reported that in German shepherd dogs the lack of G allele, and in Border collies the lack of A allele, of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR) 19208A/G single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was linked to increased friendliness, which suggests that although broad traits are affected by genetic variability, the specific links between alleles and behavioral variables might be breed-specific. In the current study, we found that Siberian huskies with the A allele approached a friendly unfamiliar woman less frequently in a greeting test, which indicates that certain polymorphisms are related to human directed behavior, but that the relationship patterns between polymorphisms and behavioral phenotypes differ between populations. This finding was further supported by our next investigation. According to primate studies, endogenous opioid peptide (e.g., endorphins) receptor genes have also been implicated in social relationships. Therefore, we examined the rs21912990 of the OPRM1 gene. Firstly, we found that the allele frequencies of Siberian huskies and gray wolves were similar, but differed from that of Border collies and German shepherd dogs, which might reflect their genetic relationship. Secondly, we detected significant associations between the OPRM1 SNP and greeting behavior among German shepherd dogs and a trend in Border collies, but we could not detect an association in Siberian huskies. Although our results with OXTR and OPRM1 gene variants should be regarded as preliminary due to the relatively low sample size, they suggest that (1) OXTR and OPRM1 gene variants in dogs affect human-directed social behavior and (2) their effects differ between breeds.
Project description:Canine forms of osteoarthritis (OA) are very similar to those in humans and represent a welfare problem in the dog world population. In this study, we investigated the transcriptomic profile of peripheral blood in German Shepherd dogs with OA in order to identify diagnosis biomarkers. The bulk RNA-seq experiment was performed in a cohort of 12 adult dogs, 5 affected and 7 unaffected. Radiographs of the affected dogs revealed severe osteoarthritis in hip and elbow joints. The expression analysis showed 171 differentially expressed genes (DEGs), 113 were upregulated and 58 were downregulated compared to control dogs P (< 0.01). This pool of genes was functional annotated for signaling pathways using PANTHER tools. No overrepresented pathways were found. To gain further insights of the functional role of the DEGs in OA, we set a threshold of log2FoldChange value between -1.5 and 1.5. We ended up with 24 top up- and downregulated transcripts. Prioritization of these DEGs according to their known functional knowledge, revealed 5 possible candidates for OA biomarkers. The downregulated OSCAR gene encodes the osteoclast associated Ig-like receptor, which is involved in osteoclastogenesis regulation and bone homeostasis. In addition, the upregulated microRNA MIR339-1 and ncRNAs: LOC106559235 (downregulated), LOC102156762 (downregulated) and LOC111096460 (upregulated) are regulatory sequences, stable for gene profiling assessment in blood and related to OA pathogenesis regulation. We suggest OSCAR as the more likely candidate biomarker for OA diagnosis in dogs and, provide evidence of new circulating regulatory sequences differentially expressed in canine OA. Overall design: Transcriptomic profile of peripheral blood in German Shepherd dogs with Canine forms of osteoarthritis and control animals