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Jens Tetens, Martin Ganter, Gundi Müller, Cord Drögemüller; Linkage Mapping of Ovine Microphthalmia to Chromosome 23, the Sheep Orthologue of Human Chromosome 18. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(8):3506-3515. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-0041.
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purpose. To characterize the phenotype and map the locus responsible for autosomal recessive inherited ovine microphthalmia (OMO) in sheep.
methods. Microphthalmia-affected lambs and their available relatives were collected in a field, and experimental matings were performed to obtain affected and normal lambs for detailed necropsy and histologic examinations. The matings resulted in 18 sheep families with 48 cases of microphthalmia. A comparative candidate gene approach was used to map the disease locus within the sheep genome. Initially, 27 loci responsible for the microphthalmia–anophthalmia phenotypes in humans or mice were selected to test for comparative linkage. Fifty flanking markers that were predicted from comparative genomic analysis to be closely linked to these genes were tested for linkage to the disease locus. After observation of statistical evidence for linkage, a confirmatory fine mapping strategy was applied by further genotyping of 43 microsatellites.
results. The clinical and pathologic examinations showed slightly variable expressivity of isolated bilateral microphthalmia. The anterior eye chamber was small or absent, and a white mass admixed with cystic spaces extended from the papilla to the anterior eye chamber, while no recognizable vitreous body or lens was found within the affected eyes. Significant linkage to a single candidate region was identified at sheep chromosome 23. Fine mapping and haplotype analysis assigned the candidate region to a critical interval of 12.4 cM. This ovine chromosome segment encompasses an ancestral chromosomal breakpoint corresponding to two orthologue segments of human chromosomes 18, short and long arms. For the examined animals, we excluded the complete coding region and adjacent intronic regions of ovine TGIF1 to harbor disease-causing mutations.
conclusions. This is the first genetic localization for hereditary ovine isolated microphthalmia. It seems unlikely that a mutation in the TGIF1 gene is responsible for this disorder. The studied sheep represent a valuable large animal model for similar human ocular phenotypes.
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