A genomic model for differential hypoxic ventilatory responses

Clarke G. Tankersley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Inbred mice are routinely used as genetic models in lung biology. Among many phenotypic differences in lung function and structure, C3H/HeJ (C3) and C57BL/6J (B6) inbred mice also demonstrate a significantly different ventilatory pattern during acute hypoxic challenge. The present study rejects the hypothesis that a genomic basis for differential hypoxic ventilatory responses (HVR) is linked to loci which determine differential breathing pattern at baseline, while proposing an alternative genetic model for HVR variation. Twelve BXH recombinant inbred (RI) strains derived from C3 and B6 progenitors were examined to enumerate the genes regulating differential HVR. In each of 134 mice, HVR was assessed using whole-body plethysmography to measure tidal volume (VT) and breathing frequency (f). With respect to f during hypoxia, three distinct and reproducible phenotypes are evident in the BXH RI strain distribution pattern (SDP). The SDP for hypoxic f is consistent with the hypothesis that parental strain differences are regulated by two genes. Cosegregation analysis suggest that the genetic control of f during hypoxia differs from the genes which control differential baseline f. Although the genetic control of VT appears more complex, differences in the minute ventilation (VE) during hypoxia is determined by VT. Therefore, this study suggests that the phenotypic variation in HVR between C3 and B6 parental strains, especially related to f during hypoxia, is regulated by as few as two major genetic determinants. Support: HL53700.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-85
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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