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The laboratory rat (Rattus norvegicus) is a key tool for the study of medicine and pharmacology for human health. A large database of phenotypes for integrated fields such as cardiovascular, neuroscience, and exercise physiology exists in the literature. However, the molecular characterization of the genetic loci that give rise to variation in these traits has proven to be difficult. Here we show how one obstacle to progress, the fine-mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL), can be overcome by using an outbred population of rats. By use of a genetically heterogeneous stock of rats, we map a locus contributing to variation in a fear-related measure (two-way active avoidance in the shuttle box) to a region on chromosome 5 containing nine genes. By establishing a protocol measuring multiple phenotypes including immunology, neuroinflammation, and hematology, as well as cardiovascular, metabolic, and behavioral traits, we establish the rat HS as a new resource for the fine-mapping of QTLs contributing to variation in complex traits of biomedical relevance.

Original publication

DOI

10.1101/gr.081497.108

Type

Journal article

Journal

Genome Res

Publication Date

01/2009

Volume

19

Pages

150 - 158

Keywords

Animals, Animals, Outbred Strains, Avoidance Learning, Chromosome Mapping, Fear, Female, Linkage Disequilibrium, Male, Models, Genetic, Phenotype, Quantitative Trait Loci, Rats