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Keywords:

  • DISTAL CHROMOSOME 1;
  • MOUSE CONGENIC STRAINS;
  • BMD CANDIDATE GENES;
  • OSTEOBLASTS;
  • DIETARY FAT

Abstract

The distal end of mouse chromosome 1 (Chr 1) harbors quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that regulate bone mineral density (BMD) and share conserved synteny with human chromosome 1q. The objective of this article was to map this mouse distal Chr 1 region and identify gene(s) responsible for BMD regulation in females. We used X-ray densitometry [ie, dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA), micro–computed tomography (µCT), and peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT)] to phenotype a set of nested congenic strains constructed from C57BL/6BmJ (B6/Bm) and C3H/HeJ (C3H) mice to map the region associated with the BMD QTL. The critical region has been reduced to an interval of 0.152 Mb that contributes to increased BMD when C3H alleles are present. Histomorphometry and osteoblast cultures indicated that increased osteoblast activity was associated with increased BMD in mouse strains with C3H alleles in this critical region. This region contains two genes, Aim2, which binds with cytoplasmic dsDNA and results in apoptosis, and AC084073.22, a predicted gene of unknown function. Ovariectomy induced bone loss in the B6/Bm progenitor and the three congenic strains regardless of the alleles present in the critical BMD region. High dietary fat treatment (thought to suppress distal Chr 1 QTL for BMD in mice) did not induce bone loss in the congenics carrying C3H alleles in the critical 0.152 Mb carrying the AIM2 and AC084073.22 genes. Gene expression studies in whole bone of key congenics showed differential expression of AC084073.22 for strains carrying B6/Bm versus C3H alleles but not for Aim2. In conclusion, our data suggest that osteoblasts are the cellular target of gene action and that AC084073.22 is the best candidate for female BMD regulation in the distal region of mouse Chr 1. © 2011 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.