• Open Access

Principal component analysis of quantitative trait loci for immune response to adenovirus in mice


John D. Mountz, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Department of Medicine, Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology, 701 S. 19th Street, Room 473, LHRB Birmingham, AL 35294-0007, USA. E-mail: jdmountz@.uab.edu


Data on the duration of transgene expression in the liver, the presence of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) against adenovirus, and serum cytokines from 18 strains of C57BL/6×DBA/2 (B×D) recombinant inbred mice were analyzed. Our aim was to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) that may have causal relationship with the duration of adenovirus-mediated transgene expression in the liver. Information from β-galactosidase (LacZ) expression; CTL production; and serum levels of gamma interferon, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-6 30 days after intravenous injection of liver LacZ were summarized by principal component analysis and analyzed using maximum likelihood interval mapping implemented in the QTL cartographer software. Two principal component (PC) scores explained 82.5% of the phenotypic variance in the original variables and identified QTLs not identified by analysis of individual traits. The distribution of original variables among PCs was such that variables in PC1 were predominantly cytokines with little CTL response whereas LacZ and CTL were the predominant contributors to PC2 with practically no contribution from cytokines. PC1 was significantly associated with two QTLs on chromosomes 7 and 9 located at 57.5 cM and 41.01 cM, respectively. Five QTLs were significantly associated with PC2 on chromosomes 12 (23.01 and 31.01 cM) and 15 (29.21, 36.01, and 56.31 cM). These results illustrate the use of principal component analysis in mapping QTLs using multiple correlated traits.