On the basis of eight independent quantitative trait loci (QTL) studies of ethanol (alcohol) preference drinking in mice, a meta-analysis was carried out to examine the replicability of QTLs across studies and to enhance the power of QTL detection and parameter estimation. To avoid genetic heterogeneity, we analyzed only studies of mapping populations derived from the C57BL/6 (B6) and DBA/2 (D2) inbred progenitor strains. Because these studies were carried out in five different laboratories, there were substantial differences in testing procedure, data analysis, and especially in the choice of mapping population (BXD recombinant inbred strains, F2, backcross, selected lines, or congenic strains). Despite this, we found several QTLs that were sufficiently robust as to appear consistently across studies given the strengths and weaknesses of the mapping populations employed. These were on Chromosomes (Chrs) 2 (proximal to mid), 3 (mid to distal), 4 (distal), and 9 (proximal to mid). The P value for each of these QTLs, combined across all applicable studies, ranged from 10-7 to 10-15, with the additive effect of each QTL accounting for 3-5% of the trait variance extrapolated to an F2 population. Two other QTLs on Chrs 1 (distal) and 11 (mid) were less consistent, but still reached overall significance (P < .0001).
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