Asthma is regarded as a multifactorial inflammatory disorder arising as a result of inappropriate immune responses in genetically susceptible individuals to common environmental antigens. However, the precise molecular basis is unknown. To identify genes for susceptibility to three asthma-related traits, airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR), eosinophil infiltration, and allergen-specific serum IgE levels, we conducted a genetic analysis using SMXA recombinant inbred (RI) strains of mice. Quantitative trait locus analysis detected a significant locus for AHR on chromosome 17. For eosinophil infiltration, significant loci were detected on chromosomes 9 and 16. Although we could not detect any significant loci for allergen-specific serum IgE, analysis of consomic strains showed that chromosomes 17 and 19 carried genes that affected this trait. We detected genetic susceptibility loci that separately regulated the three asthma-related phenotypes. Our results suggested that different genetic mechanisms regulate these asthma-related phenotypes. Genetic analyses using murine RI and consomic strains enhance understanding of the molecular mechanisms of asthma in human.
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