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Quantitative trait Loci specifying the response of body temperature to dietary restriction.

Rikke BA, Yerg JE 3rd, Battaglia ME, Nagy TR, Allison DB, Johnson TE.
Institute for Behavioral Genetics, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA.

Dietary restriction (DR) retards aging and mortality across a variety of taxa. In homeotherms, one of the hallmarks of DR is lower mean body temperature (T(b)), which might be directly responsible for some aspects of DR-mediated life extension. We conducted a quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of the response of T(b) to DR in mice using a panel of 22 LSXSS recombinant inbred strains, tested in two cohorts. T(b) in response to DR had a significant genetic component, explaining approximately 35% of the phenotypic variation. We mapped a statistically significant QTL to chromosome 9 and a provisional QTL to chromosome 17, which together accounted for about two thirds of the genetic variation. Such QTLs could be used to critically test whether the response of T(b) to DR also affects the response of life extension. In addition, this study demonstrates the feasibility of trying to map QTLs that affect other physiological responses to DR, including the life extension response. Importantly, the genes underlying such QTLs would be causal factors affecting these responses and could be identified by positional cloning.