Abstract # 56:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 04:30 PM-04:45 PM: (Cascade E) Oral Presentation


A. J. Jasinska1, S. Service1, S. Fears1, I. Zelaya1, Y. Huang1, L. Navarro1, M. Jorgensen2, G. Weinstock3, W. Warren4, R. Woods5, G. Coppola1,5 and N. Freimer1
1Center for Behavioral Genetics, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA, 2Department of Pathology, Section on Comparative of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, 3The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine, Farmington, CT, 4The Genome Institute, Washington Louis, MO, 5Department of Neurology, The University of California Los Angeles
     Little is known about the quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying inter-individual differences in brain anatomy. As trait-associated genetic variants are more likely expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL), we proposed that genetic mapping of the QTL underlying brain anatomical traits would benefit from the parallel identification of eQTL in the brain. We employed this two-prong approach to identify the loci contributing to natural variations in hippocampal size among vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops sabaeus). We conducted QTL mapping of the MRI-based hippocampal size (N = 347, Fears et al., 2009) and hippocampal gene expression measured with RNA-seq (N=59) in vervets from the Vervet Research Colony that had genotype data from the association mapping SNP set (~500K SNPs) and linkage mapping SNP set (~148K SNPs). Hippocampal size QTL were localized by linkage mapping with SOLAR, and hippocampal tissue eQTL were localized using an association analysis in EMMAX. We found an ~8-Mb long QTL region on vervet chromosome 18 significantly linked to hippocampal volume trait. Within this region, we identified two local eQTL regulating the expressions of two novel long intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs): LOC103222769 and LOC103222771 in the hippocampus. The co-localization of hippocampal lincRNA eQTL within the QTL for hippocampal size implicates this genomic region in hippocampal biology.