Mouse models and quantitative trait loci of susceptibility to bleomycin- and radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis

Christina Kathleen Haston, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Radiotherapy involving the thoracic cavity and chemotherapy with the drug bleomycin are both dose limited by the development of pulmonary fibrosis. From evidence that there is variation in the population in susceptibility to pulmonary fibrosis, and animal data, it was hypothesized that individual variation in susceptibility to bleomycin-induced, or radiation-induced, pulmonary fibrosis is, in part, genetically controlled. In this thesis a three generation mouse genetic model of C57BL/6J (fibrosis prone) and C3Hf/Kam (fibrosis resistant) mouse strains and F1 and F2 (F1 intercross) progeny derived from the parental strains was developed to investigate the genetic basis of susceptibility to fibrosis. In the bleomycin studies the mice received 100 mg/kg (125 for females) of bleomycin, via mini osmotic pump. The animals were sacrificed at eight weeks following treatment or when their breathing rate indicated respiratory distress. In the radiation studies the mice were given a single dose of 14 or 16 Gy (Co$\sp{60})$ to the whole thorax and were sacrificed when moribund. The phenotype was defined as the percent of fibrosis area in the left lung as quantified with image analysis of histological sections. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping was used to identify the chromosomal location of genes which contribute to susceptibility to bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in C57BL/6J mice compared to C3Hf/Kam mice and to determine if the QTL's which influence susceptibility to bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in these progenitor strains could be implicated in susceptibility to radiation-induced lung fibrosis. For bleomycin, a genome wide scan revealed QTL's on chromosome 17, at the MHC, (LOD = 11.7 for males and 7.2 for females) accounting for approximately 21% of the phenotypic variance, and on chromosome 11 (LOD = 4.9), in male mice only, adding 8% of phenotypic variance. The bleomycin QTL on chromosome 17 was also implicated for susceptibility to radiation-induced fibrosis (LOD = 5.0) and contributes 7% of the phenotypic variance in the radiation study. In conclusion, susceptibility to both bleomycin-induced and radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis are heritable traits, and are influenced by a genetic factor which maps to a genomic region containing the MHC.

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Recommended Citation

Haston, Christina Kathleen, "Mouse models and quantitative trait loci of susceptibility to bleomycin- and radiation-induced pulmonary fibrosis" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9732769.