Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory and demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS) with a complex etiology comprising a genetically determined predisposition and a suspected auto- immune pathogenesis. Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an animal model for MS, which can be used to define susceptibility loci for autoimmune neuroinflammation. We have recently established a chronic relapsing EAE model characterized by inflammation and focal demyelination in the CNS by immunizing a variety of rat strains with the CNS-specific myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). This model is more MS-like than any other rodent EAE model described up to now. Here we present the first systematic genome search for chromosomal regions linked to phenotypes of MOG-induced EAE in a (DA x ACI) F(2)intercross. A genome-wide significant susceptibility locus linked to demyelination was identified on chromosome 18. This region has not been described in inflammatory diseases affecting other organs and the responsible gene or genes may thus be nervous system specific. Other chromosomal regions showing suggestive linkage to phenotypes of MOG-induced EAE were identified on chromosomes 10, 12 and 13. The chromosome 10 and 12 regions have previously been linked to arthritis in DA rats, suggesting that they harbour immunoregulatory genes controlling general susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. We conclude that identification of susceptibility genes for MOG-induced EAE on rat chromosomes 10, 12, 13 and 18 may disclose important disease pathways for chronic inflammatory demyelinating diseases of the CNS such as MS.
"Previous linkage analyses identified the Eae18b QTL on rat chromosome 10, which regulates severity of MOG-EAE , . The region includes a cluster of chemokine genes that are also associated with susceptibility to MS , , , , . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a polygenic disease characterized by inflammation and demyelination in the central nervous system (CNS), which can be modeled in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). The Eae18b locus on rat chromosome 10 has previously been linked to regulation of beta-chemokine expression and severity of EAE. Moreover, the homologous chemokine cluster in humans showed evidence of association with susceptibility to MS. We here established a congenic rat strain with Eae18b locus containing a chemokine cluster (Ccl2, Ccl7, Ccl11, Ccl12 and Ccl1) from the EAE- resistant PVG rat strain on the susceptible DA background and utilized myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG)-induced EAE to characterize the mechanisms underlying the genetic regulation. Congenic rats developed a milder disease compared to the susceptible DA strain, and this was reflected in decreased demyelination and in reduced recruitment of inflammatory cells to the brain. The congenic strain also showed significantly increased Ccl11 mRNA expression in draining lymph nodes and spinal cord after EAE induction. In the lymph nodes, macrophages were the main producers of CCL11, whereas macrophages and lymphocytes expressed the main CCL11 receptor, namely CCR3. Accordingly, the congenic strain also showed significantly increased Ccr3 mRNA expression in lymph nodes. In the CNS, the main producers of CCL11 were neurons, whereas CCR3 was detected on neurons and CSF producing ependymal cells. This corresponded to increased levels of CCL11 protein in the cerebrospinal fluid of the congenic rats. Increased intrathecal production of CCL11 in congenic rats was accompanied by a tighter blood brain barrier, reflected by more occludin(+) blood vessels. In addition, the congenic strain showed a reduced antigen specific response and a predominant anti-inflammatory Th2 phenotype. These results indicate novel mechanisms in the genetic regulation of neuroinflammation.
PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e39794. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0039794 · 3.23 Impact Factor
"Particularly interesting is the QTL on chromosome 13, which displayed linkage in the (DA × ACI)F2 and (LEW × PVG)F2 crosses  , and combined-cross analysis suggested that it might contain two linked cross-specific QTLs. The first QTL, around 40 Mb, segregated in the DA/ ACI combination and represents an example of a transgressive QTL, in which the allele from the resistant ACI strain predisposes for disease in a recessive manner. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unbiased genetic analysis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) can provide insights into the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis. To date five genome-wide scans using F2 crosses between different inbred rats have been performed with the aim of defining EAE-regulating quantitative trait loci (QTLs) as the starting point for identification of the underlying genes. We here report the first combined-cross analysis of three F2 crosses previously performed in our group. The majority of QTLs was shared between the different strain combinations and was therefore reproduced by the combined-cross analysis. Consequently, combined-cross analysis improved the power to detect QTLs with modest effects and narrowed QTL confidence intervals. The findings also demonstrate a lack of power in previous F2 crosses and encourage future use of larger populations. Moreover, the allelic states of shared QTLs could be established, thus providing critical information for narrowing QTLs and identifying the key polymorphism by subsequent haplotype analysis.
"integrative approach combines data from independent studies of multiple species to identify common regions linked to or associated with different features of neuroinflammation. An example of such a region is Eae18 on rat chromosome 10q24 (Dahlman et al. 1999; Roth et al. 1999; Jagodic et al. 2004), which shares several homologous genes with other regions on mouse chromosome 11B4 (Butterfield et al. 2000; Karlsson et al. 2003) and human chromosome 17p13– q11 (Chataway et al. 1998; Ban et al. 2002; Weber et al. 2003), which have also been linked to and/or associated with EAE and MS, respectively. A further development of this integrative approach is the recently reported in silico study that combines data from animal models and human studies (Serrano- Fernández et al. 2004). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unbiased identification of susceptibility genes might provide new insights into pathogenic mechanisms that govern complex inflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis. In this study we fine mapped Eae18a, a region on rat chromosome 10 that regulates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for multiple sclerosis. We utilized two independent approaches: (1) in silico mapping based on sequence similarity between human multiple sclerosis susceptibility regions and rodent EAE quantitative trait loci and (2) linkage mapping in an F10 (DA x PVG.AV1) rat advanced intercrossed line. The linkage mapping defines Eae18a to a 5-Mb region, which overlaps one intergenomic consensus region identified in silico. The combined approach confirms experimentally, for the first time, the accuracy of the in silico method. Moreover, the shared intersection between the results of both mapping techniques defines a 1.06-Mb region containing 13 candidate genes for the regulation of neuroinflammation in humans, rats, and mice.
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