Gene Expression in the Hippocampus of Diversity Outbred Mice Reveals Differences Between Sexes


Meredith Mayer

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In: Student Reports, Summer 2019, The Jackson Laboratory


This project will use RNA expression data from the hippocampus of a Diversity Outbred (DO) population and account for sex differences to determine if DO mice data needs to be adjusted for sex every time it is studied using the R packages "qtl2" and "WGCNA". The sex differences were determined by separating the dataset by sex and applying a sex interactive covariate. The eQTL analysis showed an amplified LOO score for the matched difference in genetic variance and expression compared to the sex separated eQTL. The WGCNA clustered the sex separated data into more modules (about twice as many) than the whole dataset. The plotted QTL effects of the WGCNA had more peaks with the sex interactive covariate applied than the separated sexes. Peaks within the sex interactive covariate WGCNA modules were significant while the same genes in the additive,m ale_a, nd female modulesw ere not significant and the QTL effects could be present, but weren't in all of the groups. Sex plays important part in the difference in genetic expression, and the interactive covariate model for sex tends to be significant when compared to an additive model or partitioned datasets.

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