In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (2)

Articles by Jennifer N. Gibson in JoVE

Other articles by Jennifer N. Gibson on PubMed

Systems Genetic Analysis of Peripheral Iron Parameters in the Mouse

American Journal of Physiology. Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. Jul, 2007  |  Pubmed ID: 17475678

Iron homeostasis is one of the most critical functions in living systems. Too little iron can lead to anemia and tissue-specific disorders, such as splenomegaly. Excessive systemic iron is characteristic of hemochromatosis and is implicated in the brain in Parkinson's disease. With the exception of some single gene diseases like hemochromatosis, we know little about genetic-based, individual differences in iron-related parameters and their impact on biology. To model genetic control of iron homeostasis, we measured liver, spleen, and plasma iron concentrations, hematocrit and hemoglobin, transferrin saturation, and total iron-binding capacity in several BXD/Ty recombinant inbred mouse strains derived from C57BL/6 and DBA/2 progenitors. At 120 days of age, the animals were killed for iron analysis. All measures showed genetic-based variability consistent with polygenic influence. Analysis of principal components of the seven measures revealed three factors that we named availability, transport, and storage. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis revealed one suggestive QTL on chromosome 5 for availability, two suggestive QTL (one on chromosome 1 and the other on chromosome 7) for transport, and one weak QTL on chromosome 2 for storage. The results show that iron homeostasis is a complex trait and is influenced by multiple genes.

Genetic Analysis of Iron-deficiency Effects on the Mouse Spleen

Mammalian Genome : Official Journal of the International Mammalian Genome Society. Oct, 2011  |  Pubmed ID: 21732193

Iron homeostasis is crucial to many biological functions in nearly all organisms, with roles ranging from oxygen transport to immune function. Disruption of iron homeostasis may result in iron overload or iron deficiency. Iron deficiency may have severe consequences, including anemia or changes in immune or neurotransmitter systems. Here we report on the variability of phenotypic iron tissue loss and splenomegaly and the associated quantitative trait loci (QTLs), polymorphic areas in the mouse genome that may contain one or more genes that play a role in spleen iron concentration or spleen weight under each dietary treatment. Mice from 26 BXD/Ty recombinant inbred strains, including the parent C57BL/6 and DBA/2 strains, were randomly assigned to adequate iron or iron-deficient diets at weaning. After 120 days, splenomegaly was measured by spleen weight, and spleen iron was assessed using a modified spectrophotometry technique. QTL analyses and gene expression comparisons were then conducted using the WebQTL GeneNetwork. We observed wide, genetic-based variability in splenomegaly and spleen iron loss in BXD/Ty recombinant inbred strains fed an iron-deficient diet. Moreover, we identified several suggestive QTLs. Matching our QTLs with gene expression data from the spleen revealed candidate genes. Our work shows that individual differences in splenomegaly response to iron deficiency are influenced at least partly by genetic constitution. We propose mechanistic hypotheses by which splenomegaly may result from iron deficiency.

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