Project description:Copy number variation is an important dimension of genetic diversity and has implications in development and disease. As an important model organism, the mouse is a prime candidate for copy number variant (CNV) characterization, but this has yet to be completed for a large sample size. Here we report CNV analysis of publicly available, high-density microarray data files for 351 mouse tail samples, including 290 mice that had not been characterized for CNVs previously.We found 9634 putative autosomal CNVs across the samples affecting 6.87% of the mouse reference genome. We find significant differences in the degree of CNV uniqueness (single sample occurrence) and the nature of CNV-gene overlap between wild-caught mice and classical laboratory strains. CNV-gene overlap was associated with lipid metabolism, pheromone response and olfaction compared to immunity, carbohydrate metabolism and amino-acid metabolism for wild-caught mice and classical laboratory strains, respectively. Using two subspecies of wild-caught Mus musculus, we identified putative CNVs unique to those subspecies and show this diversity is better captured by wild-derived laboratory strains than by the classical laboratory strains. A total of 9 genic copy number variable regions (CNVRs) were selected for experimental confirmation by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR).The analysis we present is a comprehensive, genome-wide analysis of CNVs in Mus musculus, which increases the number of known variants in the species and will accelerate the identification of novel variants in future studies.
Project description:Wild-derived mice have long offered invaluable experimental models for mouse genetics because of their high evolutionary divergence from laboratory mice. A number of wild-derived strains are available from the RIKEN BioResource Center (BRC), but they have been maintained as living stocks because of the unavailability of assisted reproductive technology (ART). In this study, we sought to devise ART for 37 wild-derived strains from five subspecies of Mus musculus maintained at the BRC. Superovulation of females was effective (more than 15 oocytes per female) for 34 out of 37 strains by treatment with either equine chorionic gonadotropin or anti-inhibin serum, depending on their genetic background (subspecies). The collected oocytes could be fertilized in vitro at mean rates of 79.0% and 54.6% by the optimized protocol using fresh or frozen-thawed spermatozoa, respectively. They were cryopreserved at the 2-cell stage by vitrification with an ethylene glycol-based solution. In total, 94.6% of cryopreserved embryos survived the vitrification procedure and restored their normal morphology after warming. A conventional embryo transfer protocol could be applied to 25 out of the 35 strains tested. In the remaining 10 strains, live offspring could be obtained by a modified embryo transfer protocol using cyclosporin A treatment and co-transfer of ICR (laboratory mouse strain) embryos. Thus, ART for 37 wild-derived strains was devised successfully and is now routinely used for their preservation and transportation. The information provided here might facilitate broader use and wider distribution of wild-derived mice for biomedical research.
Project description:During the process of embryonic development in mammals, epigenetic modifications must be erased and reconstructed. In particular, the trimethylation of histone 3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) is associated with gene-specific transcriptional repression and contributes to the maintenance of the pluripotent embryos. In this study, we determined that the global levels of the H3K27me3 marker were elevated in MII oocyte chromatin and decrease to minimal levels at the 8-cell and morula stages. When the blastocyst hatched, H3K27me3 was re-established in the inner cell mass. We also determined that H3K27me3-specific demethylases, UTX and JMJD3, were observed at high transcript and protein levels in mouse preimplantation embryos. In the activated oocytes, when the H3K27me3 disappeared at the 8-cell stage, the UTX (but not JMJD3) protein levels were undetectable. Using RNA interference, we suppressed UTX and JMJD3 gene expression in the embryos and determined that the functions of UTX and JMJD3 were complementary. When JMJD3 levels were decreased by RNA interference, the embryo development rate and quality were improved, but the knockdown of UTX produced the opposite results. Understanding the epigenetic mechanisms controlling preimplantation development is critical to comprehending the basis of embryonic development and to devise methods and approaches to treat infertility.
Project description:Liver fibrosis is a major pathological feature of chronic liver diseases, including liver cancer. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), small noncoding RNAs, regulate gene expression posttranscriptionally and play important roles in various kinds of diseases; however, miRNA-associated hepatic fibrogenesis and its acting mechanisms are poorly investigated. Therefore, we performed an miRNA microarray in the fibrotic livers of Mus musculus treated with carbon-tetrachloride (CCl₄) and analyzed the biological functions engaged by the target genes of differentially-expressed miRNAs through gene ontology (GO) and in-depth pathway enrichment analysis. Herein, we found that four miRNAs were upregulated and four miRNAs were downregulated more than two-fold in CCl₄-treated livers compared to a control liver. Eight miRNAs were predicted to target a total of 4079 genes. GO analysis revealed that those target genes were located in various cellular compartments, including cytoplasm, nucleolus and cell surface, and they were involved in protein-protein or protein-DNA bindings, which influence the signal transductions and gene transcription. Furthermore, pathway enrichment analysis demonstrated that the 72 subspecialized signaling pathways were associated with CCl₄-induced liver fibrosis and were mostly classified into metabolic function-related pathways. These results suggest that CCl₄ induces liver fibrosis by disrupting the metabolic pathways. In conclusion, we presented several miRNAs and their biological processes that might be important in the progression of liver fibrosis; these findings help increase the understanding of liver fibrogenesis and provide novel ideas for further studies of the role of miRNAs in liver fibrosis.
Project description:Persistent papillomas developed in ~10% of out-bred immune-competent SKH-1 mice following MusPV1 challenge of their tail, and in a similar fraction the papillomas were transient, suggesting potential as a model. However, papillomas only occurred in BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice depleted of T cells with anti-CD3 antibody, and they completely regressed within 8 weeks after depletion was stopped. Neither CD4+ nor CD8+ T cell depletion alone in BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice was sufficient to permit visible papilloma formation. However, low levels of MusPV1 were sporadically detected by either genomic DNA-specific PCR analysis of local skin swabs or in situ hybridization of the challenge site with an E6/E7 probe. After switching to CD3+ T cell depletion, papillomas appeared upon 14/15 of mice that had been CD4+ T cell depleted throughout the challenge phase, 1/15 of CD8+ T cell depleted mice, and none in mice without any prior T cell depletion. Both control animals and those depleted with CD8-specific antibody generated MusPV1 L1 capsid-specific antibodies, but not those depleted with CD4-specific antibody prior to T cell depletion with CD3 antibody. Thus, normal BALB/c or C57BL/6 mice eliminate the challenge dose, whereas infection is suppressed but not completely cleared if their CD4 or CD8 T cells are depleted, and recrudescence of MusPV1 is much greater in the former following treatment with CD3 antibody, possibly reflecting their failure to generate capsid antibody. Systemic vaccination of C57BL/6 mice with DNA vectors expressing MusPV1 E6 or E7 fused to calreticulin elicits potent CD8 T cell responses and these immunodominant CD8 T cell epitopes were mapped. Adoptive transfer of a MusPV1 E6-specific CD8+ T cell line controlled established MusPV1 infection and papilloma in RAG1-knockout mice. These findings suggest the potential of immunotherapy for HPV-related disease and the importance of host immunogenetics in the outcome of infection.
Project description:House mice (Mus musculus) emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs), which are surprisingly complex and have features of bird song, but their functions are not well understood. Previous studies have reported mixed evidence on whether there are sex differences in USV emission, though vocalization rate or other features may depend upon whether potential receivers are of the same or opposite sex. We recorded the USVs of wild-derived adult house mice (F1 of wild-caught Mus musculus musculus), and we compared the vocalizations of males and females in response to a stimulus mouse of the same- or opposite-sex. To detect and quantify vocalizations, we used an algorithm that automatically detects USVs (Automatic Mouse Ultrasound Detector or A-MUD). We found high individual variation in USV emission rates (4 to 2083 elements/10 min trial) and a skewed distribution, with most mice (60%) emitting few (?50) elements. We found no differences in the rates of calling between the sexes overall, but mice of both sexes emitted vocalizations at a higher rate and higher frequencies during opposite- compared to same-sex interactions. We also observed a trend toward higher amplitudes by males when presented with a male compared to a female stimulus. Our results suggest that mice modulate the rate and frequency of vocalizations depending upon the sex of potential receivers.
Project description:Hematopoiesis occurs in a microenviroenment in which stromal cells are prominent. Stromal cells have been shown to maintain stem cell behaviour of hematopoietic stem cells. We derived several different stromal cell lines from midgestation embryos which will, or will not maintain hemetopoietic stem cells in cultures. We used microarrays to detail the global programme of gene expression underlying maintenance and emergence of hematopoietic stem cells in cocultures with embryo-derived stromal cells. CEL files will become available on November 29, 2008 Experiment Overall Design: Embryo-derived stromal cell lines were grown to confluence and irradiated as described earlier (Oostendorp et al., Stem Cells. 2005;23:842:50). Normalized Gene expression of the three different cell lines was compared.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Amylase gene clusters have been implicated in adaptive copy number changes in response to the amount of starch in the diet of humans and mammals. However, this interpretation has been questioned for humans and for mammals there is a paucity of information from natural populations. RESULTS:Using optical mapping and genome read information, we show here that the amylase cluster in natural house mouse populations is indeed copy-number variable for Amy2b paralogous gene copies (called Amy2a1 - Amy2a5), but a direct connection to starch diet is not evident. However, we find that the amylase cluster was subject to introgression of haplotypes between Mus musculus sub-species. A very recent introgression can be traced in the Western European populations and this leads also to the rescue of an Amy2b pseudogene. Some populations and inbred lines derived from the Western house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) harbor a copy of the pancreatic amylase (Amy2b) with a stop codon in the first exon, making it non-functional. But populations in France harbor a haplotype introgressed from the Eastern house mouse (M. m. musculus) with an intact reading frame. Detailed analysis of phylogenetic patterns along the amylase cluster suggest an additional history of previous introgressions. CONCLUSIONS:Our results show that the amylase gene cluster is a hotspot of introgression in the mouse genome, making it an evolutionary active region beyond the previously observed copy number changes.