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Quantitative trait analysis of the development of pulmonary tolerance to inhaled zinc oxide in mice
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  • Description:
    Background

    Individuals may develop tolerance to the induction of adverse pulmonary effects following repeated exposures to inhaled toxicants. Previously, we demonstrated that genetic background plays an important role in the development of pulmonary tolerance to inhaled zinc oxide (ZnO) in inbred mouse strains, as assessed by polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), macrophages, and total protein in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) phenotypes. The BALB/cByJ (CBy) and DBA/2J (D2) strains were identified as tolerant and non-tolerant, respectively. The present study was designed to identify candidate genes that control the development of pulmonary tolerance to inhaled ZnO.

    Methods

    Genome-wide linkage analyses were performed on a CByD2F2 mouse cohort phenotyped for BAL protein, PMNs, and macrophages following 5 consecutive days of exposure to 1.0 mg/m3 inhaled ZnO for 3 hours/day. A haplotype analysis was carried out to determine the contribution of each quantitative trait locus (QTL) and QTL combination to the overall BAL protein phenotype. Candidate genes were identified within each QTL interval using the positional candidate gene approach.

    Results

    A significant quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 1, as well as suggestive QTLs on chromosomes 4 and 5, for the BAL protein phenotype, was established. Suggestive QTLs for the BAL PMN and macrophage phenotypes were also identified on chromosomes 1 and 5, respectively. Analysis of specific haplotypes supports the combined effect of three QTLs in the overall protein phenotype. Toll-like receptor 5 (Tlr5) was identified as an interesting candidate gene within the significant QTL for BAL protein on chromosome 1. Wild-derived Tlr5-mutant MOLF/Ei mice were tolerant to BAL protein following repeated ZnO exposure.

    Conclusion

    Genetic background is an important influence in the acquisition of pulmonary tolerance to BAL protein, PMNs, and macrophages following ZnO exposure. Promising candidate genes exist within the identified QTL intervals that would be good targets for additional studies, including Tlr5. The implications of tolerance to health risks in humans are numerous, and this study furthers the understanding of gene-environment interactions that are likely to be important factors from person-to-person in regulating the development of pulmonary tolerance to inhaled toxicants.

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  • Funding:
    ES-00260/ES/NIEHS NIH HHS/United States
    T-42CCT210425-06-01/CC/ODCDC CDC HHS/United States
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