Ahl2, a second locus affecting age-related hearing loss in mice.

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Animals, Chromosome-Mapping, Crosses-Genetic, Disease-Models-Animal, Genotype, Hearing-Loss, Linkage-(Genetics), Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Inbred-Strains, Phenotype, Presbycusis, Quantitative-Trait-Loci

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Inbred mouse strains with age-related hearing loss (AHL) provide valuable models for studying the genetic basis of human presbycusis. Here we report the genetic mapping of a second AHL locus in mice (designated Ahl2) that is a major contributor to the 8- to 10-month difference in hearing loss onset times between NOD/LtJ and C57BL/6J mice. A whole-genome linkage scan of 110 progeny from a (C57BL/6JxNOD/LtJ)xNOD/LtJ backcross revealed statistically significant associations of ABR thresholds with markers on chromosome 5, with a peak lod score of 5.5 for D5Mit309. At 6 months of age, backcross progeny that inherited two copies of the recessive NOD/LtJ-derived allele at this locus (genotype ahl2/ahl2) exhibited ABR thresholds that were on average 26 decibels above those of heterozygous mice. Analysis of a (CAST/EixNOD/LtJ)xNOD/LtJ backcross, which segregates strain-specific alleles at both Ahl2 and the Ahl locus on chromosome 10, showed that the hearing loss attributable to Ahl2 is dependent on a predisposing Ahl genotype. The statistically significant effect of Ahl2 observed in crosses with NOD/LtJ was not seen in crosses involving three other strains with early onset AHL: A/J, BUB/BnJ, and SKH2/J.

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