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Candidate genes for alcohol preference in alcohol-preferring and non-preferring reciprocal congenic rats

ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to identify candidate genes that may influence alcohol consumption by comparing gene expression in 5 brain regions of alcohol-naïve iP and P.NP rats. Background: Selectively bred P (alcohol preferring) and NP (alcohol non-preferring) rats differ greatly in alcohol preference, in part due to a highly significant QTL on chromosome 4. Reciprocal congenic strains in which the iP chromosome 4 QTL interval was transferred to the iNP background (NP.P) and the iNP chromosome 4 QTL was transferred to the iP background (P.NP) exhibited alcohol consumption scores that correlated with the introgressed interval. The goal of this study was to identify candidate genes that may influence alcohol consumption by comparing gene expression in 5 brain regions of alcohol-naïve iP and P.NP rats. Methods: RNA from the amygdala, nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, caudate putamen, and frontal cortex from each of 8 iP and 8 P.NP rats was labeled and analyzed on Affymetrix Rat Genome 230 2.0 microarrays. Expression levels were normalized using robust multi-chip average (RMA), and differential gene expression was measured in individual brain regions and in the average of the five brain regions. Differential gene expression was validated using quantitative real-time PCR. Meta-analysis was applied to compare microarray data from this experiment with data from the reciprocal congenic strains NP.P vs. iNP (Carr et al, 2007). Results: We detected between 72 (nucleus accumbens) and 89 (hippocampus) cis-regulated probe sets within the QTL that significantly differed between the strains in the five brain regions. There was significant overlap among the regions; 157 cis-regulated probe sets were detected in at least one brain region, of which 104 showed differential expression in more than one region. Fewer trans-regulated probe sets were detected, ranging from 7 in the amygdala to 54 in the caudate putamen, and most of these differed in only one region; only 10 of the 85 trans-regulated probe sets differed in more than one region. To increase the power to detect differentially expressed genes, data from the five discrete brain regions of each animal were averaged; in this analysis we detected 141 cis-regulated probe sets and 207 trans-regulated probe sets. Meta-analysis comparing the present results from iP vs. P.NP rats with an earlier experiment that used the reciprocal congenic NP.P vs. iP demonstrated that 74 cis-regulated probe sets were differentially expressed in the same direction and with a consistent magnitude of difference in both experiments. No consistent trans-regulated probe sets were identified. Conclusions: Cis-regulated candidate genes for alcohol consumption that lie within the chromosome 4 QTL were identified and confirmed by meta-analysis with the reciprocal congenic NP.P vs iNP study. These genes are strong candidates for producing the difference in alcohol preference and consumption between the iP and iNP rats. There was little evidence for consistent trans-acting effects. Keywords: comparison of gene expression profiles for strain1 (P rat) vs. strain2 (P.NP rat) Overall design: 40 samples each of P and P.NP (8 animals each of P and P.NP. 5 brain regions)

INSTRUMENT(S): [Rat230_2] Affymetrix Rat Genome 230 2.0 Array

ORGANISM(S): Rattus Norvegicus

SUBMITTER: Mark William Kimpel  

PROVIDER: GSE15415 | GEO | 2009-12-31



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