In previous work, we identified genetic correlations between cAMP accumulation in the cerebellum and sensitivity to the incoordinating effects of ethanol. A genetic correlation suggests that common genes underlie the phenotypes investigated. One method for provisionally identifying genes involved in a given phenotypic measure is quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. Using a panel of 30 BXD recombinant inbred strains of mice and the progenitors (DBA/2J and C57BL/6J), and the dowel test for ataxia, we measured the blood ethanol concentrations at the time an animal first fell from the dowel and acute functional tolerance (AFT), and investigated cAMP signaling in the cerebellum. Cyclic AMP accumulation was measured in whole-cell preparations of cerebellar minces from individual mice under basal or stimulated conditions. We conducted a genome-wide QTL analysis of the behavioral and biochemical measures with \textgreater2000 genetic markers to identify significant associations. Western blot and comparative sequencing analysis were used to compare cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) levels and protein-coding sequence, respectively. QTL analyses correlating strain means with allelic status at genetic markers identified several significant associations (p \textless 0.01). Analysis of variance revealed an effect of strain on behavioral and biochemical measures. There was a significant genetic correlation between initial sensitivity and basal cAMP accumulation in the cerebellum. We identified 6 provisional QTLs for initial sensitivity on four chromosomes, 6 provisional QTLs for AFT on four chromosomes, and 11 provisional QTLs for cAMP signaling on nine chromosomes. Two loci were found to overlap for measures of initial sensitivity and for cAMP signaling. Given the genetic correlation between initial sensitivity and basal cAMP accumulation, we investigated candidate genes in a QTL on chromosome 1. Comparative sequence analysis was performed, and protein levels were compared between C57 and DBA mice for Creb1. No significant differences were detected in coding sequence or protein levels for CREB. These results suggest that although ethanol sensitivity and cAMP signaling are determined by multiple genes, they may share certain genetic codetermination.
The overall scheme of a microarray experiment is summarized in Figure 3. The real benefit of using microarrays in research is gaining knowledge from the abundant data provided from the series of related microarray experiments. The core laboratory has produced three cDNA arrays, a mouse 15K array, a human 13K array, and a human apoptosis array with 350 plus apoptotic elements. Recently, the 15K array is being used in building a database for gene expression in several areas of the mouse brain and for studying transgenic and knockout mice. The apoptosis array has been used by cancer researchers to further elucidate changes and interactions between genes leading to cell death and cancer. The UCHSC Gene Expression Array Core is supported by the National Institute on Aging and the National Cancer Institute (Bethesda, MD) to serve all academic users and has a special interest in providing a solid technological base for genomic researchers interested in alcohol and cancer research.
Glycine receptors (GlyRs) are pentameric ligand-gated ion channels that inhibit neurotransmission in the adult brainstem and spinal cord. GlyR function is potentiated by ethanol in vitro, and a mutant GlyR subunit α1(S267Q) is insensitive to the potentiating effects of ethanol. To test the importance of GlyR for the actions of ethanol in vivo, we constructed transgenic mice with this mutation. Under the control of synapsin I regulatory sequences, transgenic expression of S267Q mutant GlyR α1 subunits in the nervous system was demonstrated using [3H]strychnine binding and immunoblotting. These mice showed decreased sensitivity to ethanol in three behavioral tests: ethanol inhibition of strychnine seizures, motor incoordination (rotarod), and loss of righting reflex. There was no change in ethanol sensitivity in tests of acute functional tolerance or body temperature, and there was no change in ethanol metabolism. Transgene effects were pharmacologically specific for ethanol, compared with pentobarbital, flurazepam, and ketamine. These results support the idea that glycine receptors contribute to some behavioral actions of ethanol and that ethanol sensitivity can be changed in vivo by transgenic expression of a single receptor subunit.
The nature of the differences between mortal somatic cells and immortal germ cell lines constitutes a major area of theoretical gerontology which has not yet received adequate attention. Weismann's theory, first stated almost exactly a century ago, was recently reconsidered by Kirkwood and Holliday. They applied modern concepts and findings on the factors regulating the accuracy of synthesis of macromolecules to explain germ line immortality. In the present paper, evidence on ageing of reproductive cells and the relationship of cytomorphogenetic events to periodic rejuvenation of germ cell lines is summarized and evaluated. Key events include the elimination or reversal of some DNA changes in germ cells through recombination and meiotic haploidization, cyclic regeneration of transcriptional and translational systems during gametogenesis and early development, and the selection of stable, viable genomes at various stages of the reproductive cycle. These rejuvenatory processes are compared and related to molecular events which differentiated somatic cells are unable to carry out.