High dietary fat intake and obesity may increase susceptibility to certain forms of cancer. To study the interactions of dietary fat, obesity, and metastatic mammary cancer, we created a population of F2 mice cosegregating obesity QTL and the MMTV-PyMT transgene. We fed the F2 mice either a very-high-fat or a matched-control-fat diet and measured growth, body composition, age at mammary tumor onset, tumor number and severity, and formation of pulmonary metastases. SNP genotyping across the genome facilitated analyses of QTL and QTL x diet interaction effects. Here we describe development of the F2 population (n = 615) which resulted from a cross between the polygenic obesity model M16i and FVB/NJ-TgN (MMTV-PyMT)634Mul, effects of diet on growth and body composition, and QTL and QTL x diet and/or gender interaction effects for growth and obesity-related phenotypes. We identified 38 QTL for body composition traits that were significant at the genome-wide 0.05 level, likely representing nine distinct loci after accounting for pleiotropic effects. QTL x diet and/or gender interactions were present at 15 of these QTL, indicating that such interactions play a significant role in defining the genetic architecture of complex traits such as body weight and obesity.
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