Construction of a Double Congenic Strain to Prove an Epistatic Interaction on Blood Pressure between Rat Chromosomes 2 and 10

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Abstract

Previously we presented suggestive evidence from an F2 segregating population for an interaction on blood pressure (BP) between quantitative trait loci (QTL) on rat chromosomes (Chr) 2 and 10.To prove the existence of such an interaction, we developed congenic strains for Chr 2 and 10 by introgressing the low BP QTL alleles into the Dahl salt-sensitive (S) strain. A double congenic strain was also constructed with both the Chr 2 and 10 low BP QTL alleles on the S background. The four strains (S, Chr 2 congenic, Chr 10 congenic, and Chr 2/10 double congenic) were studied for BP response to increased salt intake. An analysis of variance showed significant main effects of Chr 2, Chr 10, and a significant interaction between Chr 2 and 10 on BP and heart weight (all P < 0.0001). The interaction accounted for 24 mmHg of BP and 79 mg of heart weight. Thus, the discovery and proof of epistatic interactions are clearly critical to understanding the genetics of blood pressure. (J. Clin. Invest. 1998. 101:1591-1595.)

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