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Open Access Research article

ATR-FTIR spectroscopy reveals genomic loci regulating the tissue response in high fat diet fed BXD recombinant inbred mouse strains

Ayca Dogan1, Peter Lasch2, Christina Neuschl1, Marion K Millrose1, Rudi Alberts3, Klaus Schughart3, Dieter Naumann2 and Gudrun A Brockmann1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department for Crop and Animal Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Invalidenstraße 42, 10115, Berlin, Germany

2 Robert Koch-Institute, Biomedical Spectroscopy, Nordufer 20, 13353, Berlin, Germany

3 Department of Infection Genetics, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover and University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 38124, Braunschweig, Germany

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:386  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-386

Published: 10 June 2013

Abstract

Background

Obesity-associated organ-specific pathological states can be ensued from the dysregulation of the functions of the adipose tissues, liver and muscle. However, the influence of genetic differences underlying gross-compositional differences in these tissues is largely unknown. In the present study, the analytical method of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy has been combined with a genetic approach to identify genetic differences responsible for phenotypic alterations in adipose, liver and muscle tissues.

Results

Mice from 29 BXD recombinant inbred mouse strains were put on high fat diet and gross-compositional changes in adipose, liver and muscle tissues were measured by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. The analysis of genotype-phenotype correlations revealed significant quantitative trait loci (QTL) on chromosome 12 for the content of fat and collagen, collagen integrity, and the lipid to protein ratio in adipose tissue and on chromosome 17 for lipid to protein ratio in liver. Using gene expression and sequence information, we suggest Rsad2 (viperin) and Colec11 (collectin-11) on chromosome 12 as potential quantitative trait candidate genes. Rsad2 may act as a modulator of lipid droplet contents and lipid biosynthesis; Colec11 might play a role in apoptopic cell clearance and maintenance of adipose tissue. An increased level of Rsad2 transcripts in adipose tissue of DBA/2J compared to C57BL/6J mice suggests a cis-acting genetic variant leading to differential gene activation.

Conclusion

The results demonstrate that the analytical method of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy effectively contributed to decompose the macromolecular composition of tissues that accumulate fat and to link this information with genetic determinants. The candidate genes in the QTL regions may contribute to obesity-related diseases in humans, in particular if the results can be verified in a bigger BXD cohort.

Keywords:
Collagen; Endoplasmic reticulum; Apoptosis; Remodeling; Liver steatosis; Viperin; Collectin-11