QTL-mapping in the obese Berlin Fat Mouse identifies additional candidate genes for obesity and fatty liver disease

Manuel Delpero, Danny Arends, Aimée Freiberg, Gudrun A. Brockmann, Deike Hesse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


The Berlin Fat Mouse Inbred line (BFMI) is a model for obesity and the metabolic syndrome. This study aimed to identify genetic variants associated with liver weight, liver triglycerides, and body weight using the obese BFMI sub-line BFMI861-S1. BFMI861-S1 mice are insulin resistant and store ectopic fat in the liver. In generation 10, 58 males and 65 females of the advanced intercross line (AIL) BFMI861-S1xB6N were phenotyped under a standard diet over 20 weeks. QTL analysis was performed after genotyping with the MiniMUGA Genotyping Array. Whole-genome sequencing and gene expression data of the parental lines was used for the prioritization of positional candidate genes. Three QTLs associated with liver weight, body weight, and subcutaneous adipose tissue (scAT) weight were identified. A highly significant QTL on chromosome (Chr) 1 (157–168 Mb) showed an association with liver weight. A QTL for body weight at 20 weeks was found on Chr 3 (34.1–40 Mb) overlapping with a QTL for scAT weight. In a multiple QTL mapping approach, an additional QTL affecting body weight at 16 weeks was identified on Chr 6 (9.5–26.1 Mb). Considering sequence variants and expression differences, Sec16b and Astn1 were prioritized as top positional candidate genes for the liver weight QTL on Chr 1; Met and Ica1 for the body weight QTL on Chr 6. Interestingly, all top candidate genes have previously been linked with metabolic traits. This study shows once more the power of an advanced intercross line for fine mapping. QTL mapping combined with a detailed prioritization approach allowed us to identify additional and plausible candidate genes linked to metabolic traits in the BFMI861-S1xB6N AIL. By reidentifying known candidate genes in a different crossing population the causal link with specific traits is underlined and additional evidence is given for further investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10471
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


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