Journal Article

Genetic determinants of emotionality and stress response in AcB/BcA recombinant congenic mice and <i>in silico</i> evidence of convergence with cardiovascular candidate genes

Stéphane Thifault, Šeda Ondřej, Yulin Sun, Anny Fortin, Emil Skamene, Robert Lalonde, Johanne Tremblay and Pavel Hamet

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 17, issue 3, pages 331-344
Published in print February 2008 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI:
Genetic determinants of emotionality and stress response in AcB/BcA recombinant congenic mice and in silico evidence of convergence with cardiovascular candidate genes

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Genomic loci bearing stress-related phenotypes were dissected in recombinant congenic strains (RCS) of mice with C57BL/6J (B6) and A/J progenitors. Adult male mice from 14 A/J and 22 B6 background lines were evaluated for emotional reactivity in open-field (OF) and elevated plus-maze tests. Core temperature was monitored by radio telemetry during immobilization and on standard as well as salt-enriched diets. In addition, urinary electrolytes were measured. Genome-wide linkage analysis of the parameters revealed over 20 significant quantitative trait loci (QTL). The highest logarithm of odds (LOD) scores were within the previously-reported OF emotionality locus on Chr 1 (LOD = 4.6), in the dopa decarboxylase region on Chr 11 for the plus-maze (LOD = 4.7), and within a novel region of calmodulin 1 on Chr 12 for Ca++ excretion after a 24-h salt load (LOD = 4.6). RCS stress QTL overlapped with several candidate loci for cardiovascular (CV) disease. In silico evidence of functional polymorphisms by comparative sequence analysis of progenitor strains assisted to ascertain this convergence. The anxious BcA70 strain showed down regulation of Atp1a2 gene expression in the heart (P < 0.001) and brain (P < 0.05) compared with its parental B6 strain, compatible with the enhanced emotionality described in knock out animals for this gene, also involved in the salt-sensitive component of hypertension. Functional polymorphisms in regulatory elements of candidate genes of the CV/inflammatory/immune systems support the hypothesis of genetically-altered environmental susceptibility in CV disease development.

Journal Article.  8364 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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