RGD Reference Report - Identification of genetic loci affecting the severity of symptoms of Hirschsprung disease in rats carrying Ednrbsl mutations by quantitative trait locus analysis. - Rat Genome Database
Hirschsprung's disease (HSCR) is a congenital disease in neonates characterized by the absence of the enteric ganglia in a variable length of the distal colon. This disease results from multiple genetic interactions that modulate the ability of enteric neural crest cells to populate developing gut. We previously reported that three rat strains with different backgrounds (susceptible AGH-Ednrbsl/sl, resistant F344-Ednrbsl/sl, and LEH-Ednrbsl/sl) but the same null mutation of Ednrb show varying severity degrees of aganglionosis. This finding suggests that strain-specific genetic factors affect the severity of HSCR. Consistent with this finding, a quantitative trait locus (QTL) for the severity of HSCR on chromosome (Chr) 2 was identified using an F2 intercross between AGH and F344 strains. In the present study, we performed QTL analysis using an F2 intercross between the susceptible AGH and resistant LEH strains to identify the modifier/resistant loci for HSCR in Ednrb-deficient rats. A significant locus affecting the severity of HSCR was also detected within the Chr 2 region. These findings strongly suggest that a modifier gene of aganglionosis exists on Chr 2. In addition, two potentially causative SNPs (or mutations) were detected upstream of a known HSCR susceptibility gene, Gdnf. These SNPs were possibly responsible for the varied length of gut affected by aganglionosis.