Fine mapping of QTL for prepulse inhibition in LG/J and SM/J mice using F2 and advanced intercross lines


Abraham A. Palmer, PhD, Department of Human Genetics, University of Chicago, 920 E 58th St., CLSC-507D, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. E-mail:


Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response is a measure of sensorimotor gating, a process that filters out extraneous sensory, motor and cognitive information. Humans with neurological and psychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Huntington's disease, exhibit a reduction in PPI. Habituation of the startle response is also disrupted in schizophrenic patients. In order to elucidate the genes involved in sensorimotor gating, we phenotyped 472 mice from an F2 cross between LG/J × SM/J for PPI and genotyped these mice genome-wide using 162 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. We used prepulse intensity levels that were 3, 6 and 12 dB above background (PPI3, PPI6 and PPI12, respectively). We identified a significant quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 12 for all three prepulse intensities as well as a significant QTL for both PPI6 and PPI12 on chromosome 11. We identified QTLs on chromosomes 7 and 17 for the startle response when sex was included as an interactive covariate and found a QTL for habituation of the startle response on chromosome 4. We also phenotyped 135 mice from an F34 advanced intercross line (AIL) between LG/J × SM/J for PPI and genotyped them at more than 3000 SNP markers. Inclusions of data from the AIL mice reduced the size of several of these QTLs to less than 5 cM. These results will be useful for identifying genes that influence sensorimotor gaiting and show the power of AIL for fine mapping of QTLs.