Quantitative trait locus for body weight identified on rat chromosome 4 in inbred alcohol-preferring and -nonpreferring rats: Potential implications for neuropeptide Y and corticotrophin releasing hormone 2

John Paul Spence, Dongbing Lai, Anantha Shekhar, Lucinda G. Carr, Tatiana Foroud, Tiebing Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


The alcohol-preferring (P) and -nonpreferring (NP) rat lines were developed using bidirectional selective breeding for alcohol consumption (g/kg/day) and alcohol preference (water:ethanol ratio). During a preliminary study, we detected a difference in body weight between inbred P (iP) and inbred NP (iNP) rats that appeared to be associated with the transfer of the Chromosome 4 quantitative trait locus (QTL) seen in the P.NP and NP.P congenic strains. After the initial confirmation that iP rats displayed lower body weight when compared to iNP rats (data not shown), body weight and growth rates of each chromosome 4 reciprocal congenic rat strain (P.NP and NP.P) were measured, and their body weight was consistent with their respective donor strain phenotype, confirming that a quantitative trait locus for body weight mapped to the chromosome 4 interval. Utilizing the newly developed interval-specific congenic strains (ISCS-A and ISCS-B), the QTL interval was further narrowed identifying the following candidate genes of interest: neuropeptide Y (Npy), juxtaposed with another zinc finger gene 1 (Jazf1), corticotrophin releasing factor receptor 2 (Crfr2) and LanC lantibiotic synthetase component C-like 2 (Lancl2). These findings indicate that a biologically active variant(s) regulates body weight on rat chromosome 4 in iP and iNP rats. This QTL for body weight was successfully captured in the P.NP and NP.P congenic strains, and interval-specific congenic strains (ISCSs) were subsequently employed to fine-map the QTL interval identifying the following candidate genes of interest: Npy, Jazf1, Crfr2 and Lancl2. Both Npy and Crfr2 have been previously identified as candidate genes of interest underlying the chromosome 4 QTL for alcohol consumption in iP and iNP rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-67
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013



  • Alcoholism
  • Body weight
  • Congenic
  • Interval-specific congenic strain
  • Selective breeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Neurology
  • Toxicology
  • Health(social science)

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