Integrative Mouse and Human Studies Implicate ANGPT1 and ZBTB7C as Susceptibility Genes to Ischemic Injury

Stroke. 2015 Dec;46(12):3514-22. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.115.010767. Epub 2015 Nov 5.


Background and purpose: The extent of ischemic injury in response to cerebral ischemia is known to be affected by native vasculature. However, the nonvascular and dynamic vascular responses and their genetic basis are not well understood.

Methods: We performed a genome-wide association study in 235 mice from 33 inbred strains using the middle cerebral artery occlusion model. Population structure and genetic relatedness were accounted for using the efficient mixed-model association method. Human orthologs to the genes associated with the significant and suggestive single-nucleotide polymorphisms from the mouse strain survey were examined in patients with M1 occlusions admitted with signs and symptoms of acute ischemic stroke.

Results: We identified 4 genome-wide significant and suggestive single-nucleotide polymorphisms to be associated with infarct volume in mice (rs3694965, P=2.17×10(-7); rs31924033, P=5.61×10(-6); rs32249495, P=2.08×10(-7); and rs3677406, P=9.56×10(-6)). rs32249495, which corresponds to angiopoietin-1 (ANGPT1), was also significant in the recessive model in humans, whereas rs1944577, which corresponds to ZBTB7C, was nominally significant in both the additive and dominant genetic models in humans. ZBTB7C was shown to be upregulated in endothelial cells using both in vitro and in vivo models of ischemia.

Conclusions: Genetic variations of ANGPT1 and ZBTB7C are associated with increased infarct size in both mice and humans. ZBTB7C may modulate the ischemic response via neuronal apoptosis and dynamic collateralization and, in addition to ANGPT1, may serve as potential novel targets for treatments of cerebral ischemia.

Keywords: brain ischemia; cerebral infarction; genetics; models, animal; stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiopoietin-1 / genetics*
  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / diagnosis
  • Brain Ischemia / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study* / methods
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, 129 Strain
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred DBA
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Proteins / genetics*
  • Species Specificity


  • ANGPT1 protein, human
  • Angiopoietin-1
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proteins
  • ZBTB7C protein, human