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A Genetic Model for Control of Hypertriglyceridemia and Apolipoprotein B Levels in the Johns Hopkins Colony of St. Thomas Hospital Rabbits

The Genetics Society of America
Publication Date
  • Investigations
  • Biology


The St. Thomas Hospital (STH) rabbit has been previously shown to have a Mendelian form of hypertriglyceridemia, accompanied by accelerated atherosclerosis, and these animals may serve as a useful model for human dyslipoproteinemia syndromes. Here we describe the establishment of a new colony of these STH animals, and present genetic analysis of triglyceride (TG) and apolipoprotein B (apoB) levels. Segregation analysis of TG in 39 STH animals and 24 controls gave evidence of Mendelian segregation for an allele leading to both elevated TG levels and increased variability in these levels. Predicted means from the most parsimonious model for the Johns Hopkins STH colony were quite similar to that seen in the original London colony, and this model accounted for 80% of the variation in TG seen in the sample. This hypertriglyceridemia locus indirectly influenced the mean apoB levels in these rabbits, and segregation analysis of mean apoB levels suggested a second locus controlling apoB levels. Analysis of residual apoB levels (adjusted for predicted effects of the hypertriglyceridemia locus) revealed clearer evidence for a second locus controlling mean apoB levels in this colony. Arguments for two distinct genetic mechanisms operating in these STH animals are presented.

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