Genetic regulation of femoral bone mineral density: complexity of sex effect in chromosome 1 revealed by congenic sublines of mice.

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Body-Weight, Bone-Density, Chromosomes-Mammalian, Female, Femur, Male, Mice, Mice-Congenic, Phenotype, Quantitative-Trait-Loci, Sex-Factors, Tomography-X-Ray-Computed

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Bone 2007 Sep; 41(3):340-5.


The findings that sex-specific effects on femoral structure and peak bone mineral density (BMD) are linked to quantitative trait loci (QTL) provide evidence for the involvement of specific genes that contribute to gender variation in skeletal phenotype. Based on previous findings that the BMD QTL in chromosome 1 (Chr 1) exerts a sex-specific effect on femoral structure, we predicted that congenic sublines of mice that carry one or more of the Chr 1 BMD loci would exhibit gender difference in the volumetric BMD (vBMD) phenotype. To test this hypothesis, we compared skeletal parameters of male and female of five C57BL/6J (B6).CAST/EiJ (CAST)-1 congenic sublines of mice that carry overlapping CAST chromosomal segments from the vBMD loci in Chr 1. Femur vBMD measurements were performed by the peripheral quantitative computed tomography in male and female mice at 16 weeks of age. The skeletal phenotype of the C175-185 and C178-185 congenic sublines of mice provided evidence for the presence of the BMD1-4 locus at 178-180 Mb from the centromere. This QTL affects femur vBMD only in female mice. In contrast, CAST chromosomal region carrying BMD1-1 locus increased femur vBMD both in male and female mice. Furthermore, a gender specific effect on BMD of femur mid-shaft region (mid-BMD) was identified at 168-176 Mb in Chr 1 (F=16.49, P=0.0002), while no significant effect was found on total femur BMD (F=2.67, P=0.11). Moreover, this study allowed us to locate a body weight QTL at 168-172 Mb of Chr 1, the effect of this locus was altered in female mice that carry CAST chromosomal segment 168-176 Mb of Chr 1. Based on this study, we conclude that Chr 1 carries at least two vBMD gender-dependent loci; one genetic locus at 178-180 Mb (BMD1-4 locus) which affects both mid-shaft and total femur vBMD in female mice only, and another gender-dependent locus at 168-176 Mb (BMD1-2 locus) which affects femur mid-shaft vBMD in female but not male mice.