A genome-wide genetic linkage analysis identified several chromosomal regions influencing bone strength and structure in F2 progeny of Fischer 344 × Lewis inbred rats. Introduction: Inbred Fischer 344 (F344) and Lewis (LEW) rats are similar in body size, but the F344 rats have significantly lower BMD and biomechanical strength of the femur and spine compared with LEW rats. The goal of this study was to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) linked to bone strength and structure in adult female F2 rats from F344 and LEW progenitors. Materials and Methods: The 595 F2 progeny from F344 × LEW rats were phenotyped for measures of bone strength (ultimate force [Fu]; energy to break [U]; stiffness [S]) of the femur and lumbar vertebra and structure (femur midshaft polar moment of inertia [Ip]; femur midshaft cortical area; vertebral area). A genome-wide scan was completed in the F2 rats using 118 microsatellite markers at an average interval of 20 cM. Multipoint quantitative linkage analysis was performed to identify chromosomal regions that harbor QTL for bone strength and structure phenotypes. Results: Evidence of linkage for femur and lumbar strength was observed on chromosomes (Chrs) 1, 2, 5, 10, and 19. Significant linkage for femoral structure was detected on Chrs 2, 4, 5, 7, and 15. QTLs affecting femoral strength on Chrs 2 and 5 were also found; to influence femur structure. Unique QTLs on Chrs 1, 10, and 19 were found that contributed to variability in bone strength but had no significant effect on structure. Also, unique QTLs were observed on Chrs 4, 7, and 15 that affected only bone structure without any effect on biomechanics. Conclusion: We showed multiple genetic loci influencing bone strength and structure in F344 × LEW F2 rats. Some of these loci are homologous to mouse and human chromosomes previously linked to related bone phenotypes.
- Quantitative trait loci
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