Program in Gene Function and Expression
Medical Subject Headings
Animals; Eye Color; Haplotypes; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Mutation; Neovascularization, Physiologic; Polymorphism, Genetic
Genetics and Genomics
Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels are formed from existing vessels. Mammalian populations, including humans and mice, harbor genetic variations that alter angiogenesis. Angiogenesis-regulating gene variants can result in increased susceptibility to multiple angiogenesis-dependent diseases in humans. Our efforts to dissect the complexity of the genetic diversity that regulates angiogenesis have used laboratory animals due to the availability of genome sequence for many species and the ability to perform high volume controlled breeding. Using the murine corneal micropocket assay, we have observed more than ten-fold difference in angiogenic responsiveness among various mouse strains. This degree of difference is observed with either bFGF or VEGF induced corneal neovascularization. Ongoing mapping studies have identified multiple loci that affect angiogenic responsiveness in several mouse models. In this study, we used F2 intercrosses between C57BL/6J and the 129 substrains 129P1/ReJ and 129P3/J, as well as the SJL/J strain, where we have identified new QTLs that affect angiogenic responsiveness. In the case of AngFq5, on chromosome 7, congenic animals were used to confirm the existence of this locus and subcongenic animals, combined with a haplotype-based mapping approach that identified the pink-eyed dilution mutation as a candidate polymorphism to explain AngFq5. The ability of mutations in the pink-eyed dilution gene to affect angiogenic response was demonstrated using the p-J allele at the same locus. Using this allele, we demonstrate that pink-eyed dilution mutations in Oca2 can affect both bFGF and VEGF-induced corneal angiogenesis.