Linkage studies have identified many chromosomal regions containing obesity genes in mice. However, only a few of these quantitative trait loci (QTLs) have been used to guide the production of congenic mouse strains that retain obesity phenotypes. We seek to identify chromosomal regions containing obesity genes in the BSB model of spontaneous obesity because the BSB model is a multigenic obesity model. Previous studies identified QTLs on Chromosomes (Chrs) 2, 6, 7, 12, and 15. BSB mice are made by backcross of lean C57BL/6J x Mus spretus. F1s were backcrossed to C57BL/6J mice to produce BSB progeny. We have constructed a new BSB cross and produced congenic mice with obesity phenotypes by marker-directed selection called B6.S-D2Mit194-D2Mit311. We found a highly significant QTL for percentage body lipid on Chr 2 just proximal to the Agouti locus. Chr 2 congenics were constructed to determine whether the main effects would be detectable. We observed highly significant linkage of the Chr 2 congenic containing Agouti and containing markers distal to D2Mit311 and proximal to D2Mit194. Thus, this congenic contains approximately 14.6 cM or 30 Mb (about 1.1% of the spretus mouse genome) and several hundred genes. The obesity phenotype of the QTL is retained in the congenic. The congenic can now be used to model the genetic and physiological basis for a relatively simple, perhaps monogenic, obesity.
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