We previously showed that alcohol-preferring (P) rats have higher bone density than alcohol-nonpreferring (NP) rats. Genetic mapping in P and NP rats identified a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) between 4q22 and 4q34 for alcohol preference. At the same location, several QTLs linked to bone density and structure were detected in Fischer 344 (F344) and Lewis (LEW) rats, suggesting that bone mass and strength genes might cosegregate with genes that regulate alcohol preference. The aim of this study was to identify the genes segregating for skeletal phenotypes in congenic P and NP rats. Transfer of the NP chromosome 4 QTL into the P background (P.NP) significantly decreased areal bone mineral density (aBMD) and volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) at several skeletal sites, whereas transfer of the P chromosome 4 QTL into the NP background (NP.P) significantly increased bone mineral content (BMC) and aBMD in the same skeletal sites. Microarray analysis from the femurs using Affymetrix Rat Genome arrays revealed 53 genes that were differentially expressed among the rat strains with a false discovery rate (FDR) of less than 10%. Nine candidate genes were found to be strongly correlated (r2>0.50) with bone mass at multiple skeletal sites. The top three candidate genes, neuropeptide Y (Npy), α synuclein (Snca), and sepiapterin reductase (Spr), were confirmed using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR). Ingenuity pathway analysis revealed relationships among the candidate genes related to bone metabolism involving β-estradiol, interferon-γ, and a voltage-gated calcium channel. We identified several candidate genes, including some novel genes on chromosome 4 segregating for skeletal phenotypes in reciprocal congenic P and NP rats.
- Bone mass
- Neuropeptide Y
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism