C57BL/6J (B6) and DBA/2J (D2) strains and two derivative populations, BXD recombinant inbred strains (BXD RIs) and B6D2F2, were used to explore genetic basis for variation in muscle weight at 500 days of age. In parallel with findings in 200-day-old mice (Lionikas A, Blizard DA, Vandenbergh DJ, Glover MG, Stout JT, Vogler GP, McClearn GE, and Larsson L. Physiol Genomics 16: 141-152, 2003), weight of slow-twitch soleus, mixed gastrocnemius, and fast-twitch tibialis anterior (TA) and extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles was 13-22% greater (P < 0.001) in B6 than in D2. Distribution of BXD RI strain means indicated that genetic influence on muscle weight (strain effect P < 0.001, all muscles) was of polygenic origin, and effect of genetic factors differed between males and females (strain-by-sex interaction: P < 0.01 for soleus, EDL; P < 0.05 for TA, gastrocnemius). Linkage analyses in B6D2F2 population identified QTL affecting muscle weight on Chr 1, 2, 6, and 9. Pleiotropic influences were observed for QTL on Chr 1 (soleus, TA), 2 (TA, EDL, gastrocnemius), and 9 (soleus, TA, EDL) and were not related to muscle type (fast/slow-twitch) or function (flexor/extensor). Effect of QTL on Chr 9 on soleus muscle was male specific. QTL on Chr 2 and 6 were previously observed at 200 days of age, whereas QTL on Chr 1 and 9 are novel muscle weight QTL. In summary, muscle weight in B6/D2 lineage is affected by a polygenic system that has variable influences at different ages, between males and females, and across muscles in a manner independent of muscle type.
2005. Vol. 21, no 2, 184-192 p.