INVESTIGATION OF GENETIC FACTORS DETERMINING ISCHEMIC STROKE OUTCOME
Cerebrovascular disease (stroke), especially ischemic stroke, is a major cause of death and neurological disability in adults. Because of its clinical heterogeneity, stroke is considered as a multi-factorial and polygenic disorder. Most current genetic studies of ischemic stroke focus on genetic susceptibility rather than factors determining stroke outcome. The genetic components of ischemic stroke outcome are difficult to study in humans due to environmental factors and medical intervention. Thus, we proposed to use a surgically induced, permanent, focal cerebral ischemic stroke mouse model to investigate genetic factors of ischemic stroke outcome measured by infarct volume. This model is the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model. First, we screened infarct volumes across 32 inbred mouse strains. The infarct volume varies between strains, and this strongly suggests that infarct volume is genetically determined. To identify these genetic factors, we used genome-wide association study [Efficient Mixed-Model Association (EMMA) analysis] on infarct volume from 32 inbred mouse strains. Using the EMMA analysis, we identified 11 infarct volume-associated loci; however, most loci were mapped with missing alleles. This suggests that these loci might be false positives. Thus, we used specifically designed scripts of EMMA analysis with updated mouse SNP database to correct for potential false positives. The loci identified by the updated EMMA analyses will led us to the identification of genes involved in ischemic stroke outcome.
There are two major mechanisms were proposed to be determinants of infarct volume, the extent of native collateral circulation and neuroprotection. Using the infarct volume screening panel from 32 inbred strains, we observed that infarct volume is inversely correlated with the native collateral vessel number. However, among these inbred strains, we also observed several strains differ significantly in infarct volumes but harbor similar collateral numbers. In order to identify genetic factors determining infarct volume in a collateral-independent manner (neuroprotection), we used quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping on mouse strains that exhibit the most difference in infarct volumes but the least difference in collateral numbers (C57BL/6J and C3H/HeJ). From the F2 B6 x C3H cross, we mapped 4 loci determining infarct volume (cerebral infarct volume QTL 4 to 7, Civq4 to Civq7). The Civq4 locus is the strongest locus (LOD 9.8) that contributes 21% of phenotypic variance in infarct volume. We also used a parallel F2 B6 x C3H cross to perform a QTL mapping on collateral vessel traits to further verify these collateral-independent loci. Among these 4 loci, the Civq4 and Civq7 loci appear to be truly collateral-independent. Based on strain-specific sequence variants and mRNA expression differences, we proposed Msr1 and Mtmr7 are the potential candidate genes of the Civq4 locus. Identification of the collateral-independent genetic factors will help to understand the genetic architecture, disease pathophysiology and potential therapeutic targets for of ischemic stroke
Genome-wide association study
Ischemic stroke outcome
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