Background: With aging and in cardiac disease, fibrosis caused by collagen deposition is increased, impairing contractility and providing a substrate for arrhythmia. In this study, we set out to identify genetic modifiers of collagen deposition in the heart by exploiting the genetic variability among F2 progeny of 129P2 and FVBN/J mice carrying the Scn5a(tm1Care/+) mutation.
Methods and results: Relative amounts of collagen were determined in left ventricular myocardium of 65 F2-mice and combined with genome-wide genotypic and cardiac expression data to identify collagen quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and overlapping expression QTLs (eQTLs). A significant collagen QTL was identified on mouse Chr8; an additional collagen QTL was identified on mouse Chr2 after correction for a genetic covariate uncovered on Chr18 using multiple QTL mapping. Of the 24 eQTLs colocalizing with the Chr8-collagen QTL, 6 transcripts were correlated with relative collagen amount. Similarly, of the 7 eQTLs colocalizing with the Chr2-collagen QTL, 1 transcript, Gpr158, correlated with relative collagen. Of the 12 transcripts with an eQTLs in the Chr18-covariate region, only Fgf1 correlated with relative collagen amount. Furthermore, 2 of the transcripts, Pdlim3 (Chr8) and Itga6 (Chr2), with eQTLs overlapping with collagen QTLs, had a genetic covariate on Chr18 that coincided with the Chr18 collagen covariate locus. Application of recombinant human FGF1 to isolated cardiac fibroblasts in culture affected the level of expression of Pdlim3, Itga6, and Gpr158.
Conclusions: We here mapped a possible novel genetic network modulating collagen deposition in mouse left ventricular myocardium.
Keywords: Fgf1; collagen; fibroblast growth factor.
© 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.