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Quantitative Trait Locus Analysis of Plasma Lipoprotein Levels in an Autoimmune Mouse Model : Interactions Between Lipoprotein Metabolism, Autoimmune Disease, and Atherogenesis.
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
  • L Gu
  • Michael W Johnson, MD., PhD, Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • A J Lusis
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The autoimmune MRL/lpr mouse strain, a model for systemic lupus erythematosus, exhibited an unusual plasma lipoprotein profile, suggesting a possible interaction of autoimmune disease and lipoprotein metabolism. In an effort to examine the genetic basis of such interactions, and to study their relationship to atherogenesis, we performed a quantitative trait locus analysis using a total of 272 (MRL/lprxBALB/cJ) second generation (F2) intercross mice. These mice were examined for levels of total plasma cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, VLDL and LDL cholesterol, unesterified cholesterol, autoantibodies, and aortic fatty streak lesions. Using a genome scan approach, we identified 4 quantitative trait loci controlling plasma lipoprotein levels on chromosomes (Chrs) 5, 8, 15, and 19. The locus on Chr 15 exhibited lod scores of 11.1 for total cholesterol and 6.7 for VLDL and LDL cholesterol in mice fed an atherogenic diet, and it contains a candidate gene, the sterol regulatory element binding protein-2. The locus on Chr 5 exhibited lod scores of 3.8 for total cholesterol and 4.1 for unesterified cholesterol in mice fed an atherogenic diet, and this locus has been observed in 2 previous studies. The locus on Chr 8 exhibited a lod score of 3.1 for unesterified cholesterol in mice fed a chow diet. This locus contains the lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase gene, and decreased activity of the enzyme in the MRL strain suggests that this gene underlies the quantitative-trait locus. The locus on Chr 19 exhibited a lod score of 8.4 for HDL cholesterol and includes the Fas gene, which is mutated in MRL/lpr mice and is primarily responsible for the autoimmune phenotype in this cross. That the Fas gene is responsible for the HDL quantitative-trait loci is supported by the finding that autoantibody levels were strongly correlated with HDL cholesterol levels (rho=-0.37, P
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Gu, L., Johnson, M. W., & Lusis, A. J. (1999). Quantitative trait locus analysis of plasma lipoprotein levels in an autoimmune mouse model : interactions between lipoprotein metabolism, autoimmune disease, and atherogenesis. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, And Vascular Biology, 19(2), 442-453.