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Epilepsia. 2011 Nov;52(11):2076-83. doi: 10.1111/j.1528-1167.2011.03256.x. Epub 2011 Sep 11.

Mapping a mouse limbic seizure susceptibility locus on chromosome 10.

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Department of Neurology, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.



Mapping seizure susceptibility loci in mice provides a framework for identifying potentially novel candidate genes for human epilepsy. Using C57BL/6J × A/J chromosome substitution strains (CSS), we previously identified a locus on mouse chromosome 10 (Ch10) conferring susceptibility to pilocarpine, a muscarinic cholinergic agonist that models human temporal lobe epilepsy by inducing initial limbic seizures and status epilepticus (status), followed by hippocampal cell loss and delayed-onset chronic spontaneous limbic seizures. Herein we report further genetic mapping of pilocarpine quantitative trait loci (QTLs) on Ch10.


Seventy-nine Ch10 F(2) mice were used to map QTLs for duration of partial status epilepticus and the highest stage reached in response to pilocarpine. Based on those results we created interval-specific congenic lines to confirm and extend the results, using sequential rounds of breeding selectively by genotype to isolate segments of A/J Ch10 genome on a B6 background.


Analysis of Ch10 F(2) genotypes and seizure susceptibility phenotypes identified significant, overlapping QTLs for duration of partial status and severity of pilocarpine-induced seizures on distal Ch10. Interval-specific Ch10 congenics containing the susceptibility locus on distal Ch10 also demonstrated susceptibility to pilocarpine-induced seizures, confirming results from the F(2) mapping population and strongly supporting the presence of a QTL between rs13480781 (117.6 Mb) and rs13480832 (127.7 Mb).


QTL mapping can identify loci that make a quantitative contribution to a trait, and eventually identify the causative DNA-sequence polymorphisms. We have mapped a locus on mouse Ch10 for pilocarpine-induced limbic seizures. Novel candidate genes identified in mice can be investigated in functional studies and tested for their role in human epilepsy.

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