[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Complex human traits are influenced by variation in regulatory DNA through mechanisms that are not fully understood. Because regulatory elements are conserved between humans and mice, a thorough annotation of cis regulatory variants in mice could aid in further characterizing these mechanisms. Here we provide a detailed portrait of mouse gene expression across multiple tissues in a three-way diallel. Greater than 80% of mouse genes have cis regulatory variation. Effects from these variants influence complex traits and usually extend to the human ortholog. Further, we estimate that at least one in every thousand SNPs creates a cis regulatory effect. We also observe two types of parent-of-origin effects, including classical imprinting and a new global allelic imbalance in expression favoring the paternal allele. We conclude that, as with humans, pervasive regulatory variation influences complex genetic traits in mice and provide a new resource toward understanding the genetic control of transcription in mammals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haloperidol is an efficacious antipsychotic drug that has serious, unpredictable motor side effects that limit its utility and cause non-compliance in many patients. Using a drug-placebo diallel of the eight founder strains of the Collaborative Cross and their F1 hybrids, we characterized aggregate effects of genetics, sex, parent-of-origin and their combinations on haloperidol response. Treating matched pairs of both sexes with drug or placebo, we measured changes in the following: open field activity; inclined screen rigidity; orofacial movements; pre-pulse inhibition of the acoustic startle response; plasma and brain drug level measurements; and body weight. To understand the genetic architecture of haloperidol response we introduce new statistical methodology linking heritable variation with causal effect of drug treatment. Our new estimators, Difference-of-Models and Multiple Impute Matched Pairs, are motivated by the Neyman-Rubin potential outcomes framework and extend our existing Bayesian hierarchical model for the diallel (Lenarcic et al, 2012). Drug-induced rigidity after chronic treatment was affected by mainly additive genetics and parent-of-origin effects (accounting for 28% and 14.8% of the variance), with NZO/HILtJ and 129S1/SvlmJ contributions tending to increase this side-effect. Locomotor activity after acute treatment, by contrast, was more affected by strain-specific inbreeding (12.8%). In addition to drug response phenotypes, we examined diallel effects on behavior before treatment and found not only effects of additive genetics (10.2%-53.2%) but also strong effects of epistasis (10.64%-25.2%). In particular, pre-pulse inhibition showed additivity and epistasis in about equal proportion (26.1% and 23.7%); there was evidence of non-reciprocal epistasis in pre-treatment activity and rigidity; and we estimated a range of effects on body weight that replicate those found in our previous work. Our results provide the first quantitative description of the genetic architecture of haloperidol response in mice, and indicate that additive, dominance-like inbreeding, and parent-of-origin effects contribute strongly to treatment effect heterogeneity for this drug.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Receptor activity modifying protein 3 (RAMP3) is a single pass transmembrane protein known to interact with and affect the trafficking of several G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs). We sought to determine whether RAMP3 interacts with G-protein coupled receptor 30 (GPR30), also known as G-protein estrogen receptor 1 (GPER1). GPR30 is a GPCR that binds estradiol and has important roles in cardiovascular and endocrine physiology. Utilizing bioluminescence resonance energy transfer titration studies, co-immunoprecipitation, and confocal microscopy, we show that GPR30 and RAMP3 interact. Furthermore, the presence of GPR30 leads to increased expression of RAMP3 at the plasma membrane in HEK293 cells. In vivo, there are marked sex differences in the subcellular localization of GPR30 in cardiac cells, and the hearts of Ramp3-/- mice also show signs of GPR30 mislocalization. To determine whether this interaction might play a role in cardiovascular disease, we treated Ramp3+/+ and Ramp3-/- mice on a heart disease-prone genetic background with G-1, a specific agonist for GPR30. Importantly, this in vivo activation of GPR30 resulted in a significant reduction in cardiac hypertrophy and perivascular fibrosis that is both RAMP3- and sex-dependent. Our results demonstrate that GPR30-RAMP3 interaction has functional consequences on the localization of these proteins both in vitro and in vivo, and that RAMP3 is required for GPR30-mediated cardioprotection.
Preview · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Molecular Endocrinology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is usually accompanied by intensive interstitial and perivascular fibrosis, which may contribute to arrhythmogenic sudden cardiac death. The mechanisms underlying the development of cardiac fibrosis are incompletely understood. To investigate the role of perivascular inflammation in coronary artery remodeling and cardiac fibrosis during hypertrophic ventricular remodeling, we used a well-established mouse model of LVH (transverse aortic constriction [TAC]). Three days after pressure overload, macrophages and T lymphocytes accumulated around and along left coronary arteries in association with luminal platelet deposition. Consistent with these histological findings, cardiac expression of IL-10 was upregulated and in the systemic circulation, platelet white blood cell aggregates tended to be higher in TAC animals compared to sham controls. Since platelets can dynamically modulate perivascular inflammation, we investigated the impact of thrombocytopenia on the response to TAC. Immunodepletion of platelets decreased early perivascular T lymphocytes' accumulation and altered subsequent coronary artery remodeling. The contribution of lymphocytes were examined in Rag1(-/-) mice, which displayed significantly more intimal hyperplasia and perivascular fibrosis compared to wild-type mice following TAC. Collectively, our studies support a role of early perivascular accumulation of platelets and T lymphocytes in pressure overload-induced inflammation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sex differences exist in the hypertrophic response, cardiac remodeling, and transition to heart failure of hypertensive patients, and while some of these differences are likely influenced by estrogen, the genetic pathways downstream of estrogen that impact on cardioprotection have yet to be fully elucidated. We have previously shown that the cardioprotective effects of adrenomedullin (AM), an emerging clinical biomarker for cardiovascular disease severity, vary with sex in mouse models. AM signaling during cardiovascular stress is strongly modulated by receptor activity-modifying protein 3 (RAMP3) via its interaction with the G protein-coupled receptor calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CLR). Like AM, RAMP3 expression is potently regulated by estrogen, and so we sought to determine the consequences of genetic Ramp3 loss on cardiac adaptation to chronic hypertension, with a particular focus on characterizing potential sex differences. We generated and bred RAMP3(-/-) mice to RenTgMK mice that consistently display severe angiotensin II-mediated CV disease and compared CV disease progression in RenTgMK to that of RenTgMK:RAMP3(-/-) offspring. As expected, RAMP3 gene expression was higher in cardiovascular tissues of RenTgMK mice and more strongly up-regulated in female RenTgMK mice relative to wildtype controls. RAMP3 loss did not affect the development of hypertension or the presence and severity of perivascular and interstitial fibrosis in the left ventricle (LV). However, echocardiography revealed that while RenTgMK mice developed concentric cardiac hypertrophy with sustained systolic function, male RenTgMK:RAMP3(-/-) mice showed evidence of LV chamber dilatation and depressed systolic function, suggestive of cardiac decompensation. Consistent with these measures of heart failure, male RenTgMK:RAMP3(-/-) mice had increased cardiac apoptosis and elevated activation of Akt. These phenotypes were not present in female RenTgMK:RAMP3(-/-) mice. Collectively, these data demonstrate a sex-dependant, cardioprotective role of RAMP3 in the setting of chronic hypertension.
Preview · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality and is commonly caused by hypertension. In rodents, transverse aortic constriction (TAC) is a model regularly employed in mechanistic studies of the response of the LV to pressure overload. We previously reported that inbred strains of male mice manifest different cardiac responses to TAC, with C57BL/6J (B6) developing LV dilatation and impaired contractility and 129S1/SvImJ (129) males displaying concentric LVH. In the present study, we investigated sex and parent-of-origin effects on the response to TAC by comparing cardiac function, organ weights, expression of cardiac hypertrophy markers, and histology in female B6 and female 129 mice and in F1 progeny of reciprocal crosses between B6 and 129 mice (B6129F1 and 129B6F1). Five weeks after TAC, heart weight increased to the greatest extent in 129B6F1 mice and the least extent in 129 and B6129F1 mice. Female 129B6F1 and B6 mice were relatively protected from the increase in heart weight that occurs in their male counterparts with pressure overload. The response to TAC in 129 consomic mice bearing the B6 Y chromosome resembled that of 129 rather than 129B6F1 mice, indicating that the B6 Y chromosome does not account for the differences in the reciprocal cross. Our results suggest that susceptibility to LVH is more complex than simple Mendelian inheritance and that parental origin effects strongly impact the LV response to TAC in these commonly used inbred strains.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling contributes to aortic valve development in mice. Because developmental phenotypes in Egfr-null mice are dependent on genetic background, the hypomorphic Egfr(wa2) allele was made congenic on C57BL/6J (B6) and 129S1/SvImJ (129) backgrounds and used to identify the underlying cellular cause of EGFR-related aortic valve abnormalities. Egfr(wa2/wa2) mice on both genetic backgrounds develop aortic valve hyperplasia. Many B6-Egfr(wa2/wa2) mice die before weaning, and those surviving to 3 mo of age or older develop severe left ventricular hypertrophy and heart failure. The cardiac phenotype was accompanied by significantly thicker aortic cusps and larger transvalvular gradients in B6-Egfr(wa2/wa2) mice compared with heterozygous controls and age-matched Egfr(wa2) homozygous mice on either 129 or B6129F1 backgrounds. Histological analysis revealed cellular changes in B6-Egfr(wa2/wa2) aortic valves underlying elevated pressure gradients and progression to heart failure, including increased cellular proliferation, ectopic cartilage formation, extensive calcification, and inflammatory infiltrate, mimicking changes seen in human calcific aortic stenosis. Despite having congenitally enlarged valves, 129 and B6129F1-Egfr(wa2/wa2) mice have normal lifespans, absence of left ventricular hypertrophy, and normal systolic function. These results show the requirement of EGFR activity for normal valvulogenesis and demonstrate that dominantly acting genetic modifiers curtail pathological changes in congenitally deformed valves. These studies provide a novel model of aortic sclerosis and stenosis and suggest that long-term inhibition of EGFR signaling for cancer therapy may have unexpected consequences on aortic valves in susceptible individuals.
No preview · Article · Jun 2009 · AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecule-targeted therapies like those against the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are becoming widely used in the oncology clinic. With improvements in treatment efficacy, many cancers are being treated as chronic diseases, with patients having prolonged exposure to several therapies that were previously only given acutely. The consequence of chronic suppression of EGFR activity may lead to unexpected toxicities like altered cardiac physiology, a common organ site for adverse drug effects. To explore this possibility, we treated C57BL/6J (B6) mice with two EGFR small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), irreversible EKB-569 and reversible AG-1478, orally for 3 months. In B6 female mice, chronic exposure to both TKIs depressed body weight gain and caused significant changes in left ventricular (LV) wall thickness and cardiac function. No significant differences were observed in heart weight or cardiomyocyte size but histological analysis revealed an increase in fibrosis and in the numbers of TUNEL-positive cells in the hearts from treated female mice. Consistent with histological results, LV apoptotic gene expression was altered, with significant downregulation of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl2l1. Although there were no significant differences in any of these endpoints in treated male mice, suggesting sex may influence susceptibility to TKI mediated toxicity, the LVs of treated male mice had significant upregulation of Egf, Erbb2 and Nppb over controls. Taken together, these data suggest that chronic dietary exposure to TKIs may result in pathological and physiological changes in the heart.
Preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH), a risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, is commonly caused by essential hypertension. Three geometric patterns of LVH can be induced by hypertension: concentric remodeling, concentric hypertrophy, and eccentric hypertrophy. Clinical studies suggest that different underlying etiologies, genetic modifiers, and risk of mortality are associated with LVH geometric patterns. Since pressure overload-induced LVH can be modeled experimentally using transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and since C57BL/6J (B6) and 129S1/SvImJ (129S1) strains, which have different baseline cardiovascular phenotypes, are commonly used, we conducted serial echocardiographic studies to assess cardiac function up to 8 wk of post-TAC in male B6, 129S1, and B6129F1 (F1) mice. B6 mice had an earlier onset and more pronounced impairment in contractile function, with corresponding left and right ventricular dilatation, fibrosis, change in expression of hypertrophy marker, and increased liver weights at 5 wk of post-TAC. These observations suggest that B6 mice had eccentric hypertrophy with systolic dysfunction and right-sided heart failure. In contrast, we found that 129S1 and F1 mice delayed transition to decompensated heart failure, with 129S1 mice exhibiting preserved systolic function until 8 wk of post-TAC and relatively mild alterations in histology and markers of hypertrophy at 5 wk post-TAC. Consistent with concentric hypertrophy, our results show that these strains manifest different cardiac responses to pressure overload in a time-dependent manner and that genetic susceptibility to initial concentric hypertrophy is dominant to eccentric hypertrophy. These results also imply that genetic background differences can complicate interpretation of TAC studies when using mixed genetic backgrounds.
Preview · Article · Jun 2007 · AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology