International Mammalian Genome Society

17th International Mouse Genome Conference

9-12 November 2003, Braunschweig, Germany


Ehrich T
Washington University

Co-Authors: Kenney J, Hrbek T, Wang B, Pletscher L, Cheverud J
Institutions: Washington University

Despite billions of dollars spent every year on weight loss as well as the continuing public health campaign being waged by physicians and governmental agencies, the prevalence of obesity in the United States and worldwide continues to rise. Most experts agree that the modern obesity pandemic is an environmental condition of a post-industrial society acting on a human genome that evolved under the threat of famine. While there has been some progress in finding human genes that respond to a modern environment in generating the obese phenotype, complications with human population mapping remain considerable. Mouse models derived from inbred lines allow rigorous genetic analysis under carefully controlled environmental conditions in a mammalian system. We examine an array of obesity and diabetes-related phenotypes in an F16 advanced intercross line (AIL) derived from SM/J and LG/J strain mice that has been fed a high fat (43% energy from fat) or low fat (15% energy from fat) diet. A quantitative genetic analysis finds low genetic correlations across the two diets for many traits, with significant gene by environment interactions. We have fine-mapped the interaction effects to the proximal end of chromosome 13. This study represents an important contribution to a better understanding of how genes and environment interact to produce the obese phenotype in mammals.

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