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:The renal adaptation to changing dietary phosphate levels is not well understood. The dominant Hyp mutation of the Phex gene in mice causes X-linked hypophosphatemia with low renal retention of phosphate and blocks physiologic adaptation to low phosphate diets. At P < 0.01, there were 1,711 transcripts significantly affected by genotype, 1,428 by diet and 5,601 by sex. Many renal transporters other than phosphate, as well as many novel transcripts of unknown function, were affected by the Hyp mutation. Some genes for fat metabolism and inflammation were up-regulated in Hyp kidneys. Of the genes affected by genotype and diet, only 378 were affected by both. In summary, the Hyp mutation induced changes in mRNA levels for numerous transcripts exceeding that required to alter phosphate retention. The data suggest broader physiological roles for the Phex gene unrelated to phosphate conservation. Keyword = Phex; Keyword = Hyp; Keyword = mouse; Keyword = kidney; Keyword = sex; Keyword = mRNA; Keyword = microarray; Keyword = low phosphorus diet Experiment Overall Design: A 2x2x2 factorial design, balanced for genotype (normal vs. Hyp), diet (control vs. low phosphate), and sex (male vs. female) was employed. Control or low phosphate diets were fed for three days to 10-week-old mice. A total of 24 samples of renal RNA were collected from 72 mice (3/array), processed to biotin-labeled cRNA, and hybridized to Affymetrix mouse MOE 430A and 430B for measurement of expression of over 45,000 transcripts.
Project description:We studied (1) the effect of primary modulators of phosphate transport, namely the hypophosphataemic mouse mutant (Hyp) and low-phosphorus diet, on alkaline phosphatase activity in mouse renal-cortex brush-border membrane vesicles and (2) the effect of several primary inhibitors of alkaline phosphatase on phosphate transport. Brush-border membrane vesicles from Hyp-mouse kidney had 50% loss of Na+-dependent phosphate transport, but only 18% decrease in alkaline phosphatase activity. The low-phosphorus diet effectively stimulated Na+/phosphate co-transport in brush-border membrane vesicles (+ 118%), but increased alkaline phosphatase activity only slightly (+13%). Levamisole (0.1 mM) and EDTA (1.0 mM) inhibited brush-border membrane-vesicle alkaline phosphatase activity of 82% and 93% respectively, but had no significant effect on Na+/phosphate co-transport. We conclude that alkaline phosphatase does not play a direct role in phosphate transport across the brush-border membrane of mouse kidney.
Project description:The composition of the mammalian gut microbiota can be influenced by a multitude of environmental variables such as diet and infections. Studies investigating the effect of these variables on gut microbiota composition often sample across multiple separate populations and habitat types. In this study we explore how variation in the gut microbiota of the house mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) on the Isle of May, a small island off the east coast of Scotland, is associated with environmental and biological factors. Our study focuses on the effects of environmental variables, specifically trapping location and surrounding vegetation, as well as the host variables sex, age, body weight and endoparasite infection, on the gut microbiota composition across a fine spatial scale in a freely interbreeding population. We found that differences in gut microbiota composition were significantly associated with the trapping location of the host, even across this small spatial scale. Sex of the host showed a weak association with microbiota composition. Whilst sex and location could be identified as playing an important role in the compositional variation of the gut microbiota, 75% of the variation remains unexplained. Whereas other rodent studies have found associations between gut microbiota composition and age of the host or parasite infections, the present study could not clearly establish these associations. We conclude that fine spatial scales are important when considering gut microbiota composition and investigating differences among individuals.
Project description:Consomic (chromosome substitution) strains (CSs) represent the most recent addition to the mouse genetic resources aimed to genetically analyze complex trait loci (QTLs). In this study, we report the development of a set of 28 mouse intersubspecific CSs. In each CS, we replaced a single chromosome of the C57BL/6J (B6) inbred strain (mostly Mus m. domesticus) with its homolog from the PWD/Ph inbred strain of the Mus m. musculus subspecies. These two progenitor subspecies diverged less than 1 million years ago and accumulated a large number of genetic differences that constitute a rich resource of genetic variation for QTL analyses. Altogether, the 18 consomic, nine subconsomic, and one conplastic strain covered all 19 autosomes, X and Y sex chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA. Most CSs had significantly lower reproductive fitness compared with the progenitor strains. CSs homosomic for chromosomes 10 and 11, and the C57BL/6J-Chr X males, failed to reproduce and were substituted by less affected subconsomics carrying either a proximal, central, or distal part of the respective chromosome. A genome-wide scan of 965 DNA markers revealed 99.87% purity of the B6 genetic background. Thirty-three nonsynonymous substitutions were uncovered in the protein-coding regions of the mitochondrial DNA of the B6.PWD-mt conplastic strain. A pilot-phenotyping experiment project revealed a high number of variations among B6.PWD consomics.
Project description:Mammalian tears are produced by lacrimal glands to protect eyes and may function in chemical communication and immunity. Recent studies on the house mouse chemical signalling revealed that major urinary proteins (MUPs) are not individually unique in Mus musculus musculus. This fact stimulated us to look for other sexually dimorphic proteins that may-in combination with MUPs-contribute to a pool of chemical signals in tears. MUPs and other lipocalins including odorant binding proteins (OBPs) have the capacity to selectively transport volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in their eight-stranded beta barrel, thus we have generated the tear proteome of the house mouse to detect a wider pool of proteins that may be involved in chemical signalling. We have detected significant male-biased (7.8%) and female-biased (7%) proteins in tears. Those proteins that showed the most elevated sexual dimorphisms were highly expressed and belong to MUP, OBP, ESP (i.e., exocrine gland-secreted peptides), and SCGB/ABP (i.e., secretoglobin) families. Thus, tears may have the potential to elicit sex-specific signals in combination by different proteins. Some tear lipocalins are not sexually dimorphic-with MUP20/darcin and OBP6 being good examples-and because all proteins may flow with tears through nasolacrimal ducts to nasal and oral cavities we suggest that their roles are wider than originally thought. Also, we have also detected several sexually dimorphic bactericidal proteins, thus further supporting an idea that males and females may have adopted alternative strategies in controlling microbiota thus yielding different VOC profiles.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Long terminal repeat (LTR) retrotransposons make up a large fraction of the typical mammalian genome. They comprise about 8% of the human genome and approximately 10% of the mouse genome. On account of their abundance, LTR retrotransposons are believed to hold major significance for genome structure and function. Recent advances in genome sequencing of a variety of model organisms has provided an unprecedented opportunity to evaluate better the diversity of LTR retrotransposons resident in eukaryotic genomes. RESULTS: Using a new data-mining program, LTR_STRUC, in conjunction with conventional techniques, we have mined the GenBank mouse (Mus musculus) database and the more complete Ensembl mouse dataset for LTR retrotransposons. We report here that the M. musculus genome contains at least 21 separate families of LTR retrotransposons; 13 of these families are described here for the first time. CONCLUSIONS: All families of mouse LTR retrotransposons are members of the gypsy-like superfamily of retroviral-like elements. Several different families of unrelated non-autonomous elements were identified, suggesting that the evolution of non-autonomy may be a common event. High sequence similarity between several LTR retrotransposons identified in this study and those found in distantly-related species suggests that horizontal transfer has been a significant factor in the evolution of mouse LTR retrotransposons.
Project description:Here we report the expansion of the genetic code of Mus musculus with various unnatural amino acids including N?-acetyl-lysine. Stable integration of transgenes encoding an engineered N?-acetyl-lysyl-tRNA synthetase (AcKRS)/tRNAPyl pair into the mouse genome enables site-specific incorporation of unnatural amino acids into a target protein in response to the amber codon. We demonstrate temporal and spatial control of protein acetylation in various organs of the transgenic mouse using a recombinant green fluorescent protein (GFPuv) as a model protein. This strategy will provide a powerful tool for systematic in vivo study of cellular proteins in the most commonly used mammalian model organism for human physiology and disease.
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.