The non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse is a polygenic model for type 1 diabetes that is characterized by insulitis, a leukocytic infiltration of the pancreatic islets. During ~35 years since the original inbred strain was developed in Japan, NOD substrains have been established at different laboratories around the world. Although environmental differences among NOD colonies capable of impacting diabetes incidence have been recognized, differences arising from genetic divergence have not been analyzed previously. We use both mouse diversity array and whole-exome capture sequencing platforms to identify genetic differences distinguishing five NOD substrains. We describe 64 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and two short indels that differ in coding regions of the five NOD substrains. A 100-kb deletion on Chromosome 3 distinguishes NOD/ShiLtJ and NOD/ShiLtDvs from three other substrains, whereas a 111-kb deletion in the Icam2 gene on Chromosome 11 is unique to the NOD/ShiLtDvs genome. The extent of genetic divergence for NOD substrains is compared with similar studies for C57BL6 and BALB/c substrains. As mutations are fixed to homozygosity by continued inbreeding, significant differences in substrain phenotypes are to be expected. These results emphasize the importance of using embryo freezing methods to minimize genetic drift within substrains and of applying appropriate genetic nomenclature to permit substrain recognition when one is used.
Keywords: Icam2; NOD mice; exome capture; substrain divergence; type 1 diabetes.
Copyright © 2015 Simecek et al.