Background and aim: Mortality is a highly complex trait influenced by a wide array of genetic factors. Methods: We examined a population of 1200 mice that were F2 generation offspring of a 4-way reciprocal cross between C57BL6/J and DBA2/J strains. Animals were sacrificed at age 200, 500, or 800 days and genotyped at 96 markers. The 800 days old cohort, which were the survivors of a much larger breeding group, were examined for enriched frequency of alleles that benefit survival and depletion of alleles that reduce survival. Results: Loci on Chr 13 in males and on Chr X in females were significantly distorted from Mendelian expectations, even after conservative correction for multiple testing. DBA2/J alleles between 35 and 80 Mb on Chr 13 were underrepresented in the age 800 male animals. D2 genotypes in this region were also associated with premature death during behavioral testing. Furthermore, confirmatory analysis showed BXD recombinant inbred strains carrying the D2 alleles in this region had shorter median survival. Exploration of available pathology data indicated that a syndrome involving dental malocclusions, pancreatic islet hypertrophy, and kidney lipidosis may have mediated the effects of DBA alleles on mortality specifically in male mice. The heterozygote advantage locus on the X Chr was not found to be associated with any pathology. Conclusions: These results suggest a novel locus influencing survival in the B6/D2 genetic background, perhaps via a metabolic disorder that emerges by 200 days of age in male animals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology