Background. Glomerulosclerosis, the common terminal event in chronic glomerular diseases such as diabetic nephropathy or IgA nephropathy, leads to end-stage renal disease. The considerable variation in both the risk of developing glomerulosclerosis and the rate of progression in individual patients suggest a role for genetic factors which have not been identified so far. In this study we sought to examine the mode of inheritance of glomerulosclerosis in mice. Methods. F1 animals of a mating between glomerulosclerosis-prone ROP-Os/+ male and non-sclerotic C3H female mice were backcrossed to the ROP strain. We took advantage of the radiation-induced mutation oligosyndactylism (Os) to identify glomerulosclerosis at the age of 3 months. Kidneys were perfused in situ with PBS/Formalin 10%. The extent of glomerulosclerotic lesions was evaluated on PAS stained paraffin sections using computer-aided morphometry. Results. F1 mice did not show any glomerulosclerosis. In the backcross offspring, we found a wide distribution of glomerular lesions between individual animals, ranging from normal to very severe. We calculated that at least 8-10 loci determine the severity of glomerulosclerosis in mice. Conclusions. Our data show that glomerulosclerosis is inherited in a recessive fashion involving at least 8-10 loci.
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