The English spotting coat color locus in rabbits, also known as Dominant white spotting locus, is determined by an incompletely dominant allele (En). Rabbits homozygous for the recessive wild-type allele (en/en) are self-colored, heterozygous En/en rabbits are normally spotted, and homozygous En/En animals are almost completely white. Compared to vital en/en and En/en rabbits, En/En animals are subvital because of a dilated ("mega") cecum and ascending colon. In this study, we investigated the role of the KIT gene as a candidate for the English spotting locus in Checkered Giant rabbits and characterized the abnormalities affecting enteric neurons and c-kit positive interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in the megacolon of En/En rabbits. Twenty-one litters were obtained by crossing three Checkered Giant bucks (En/en) with nine Checkered Giant (En/en) and two en/en does, producing a total of 138 F1 and backcrossed rabbits. Resequencing all coding exons and portions of non-coding regions of the KIT gene in 28 rabbits of different breeds identified 98 polymorphisms. A single nucleotide polymorphism genotyped in all F1 families showed complete cosegregation with the English spotting coat color phenotype (θ=0.00 LOD  =75.56). KIT gene expression in cecum and colon specimens of En/En (pathological) rabbits was 5-10% of that of en/en (control) rabbits. En/En rabbits showed reduced and altered c-kit immunolabelled ICC compared to en/en controls. Morphometric data on whole mounts of the ascending colon showed a significant decrease of HuC/D (P<0.05) and substance P (P<0.01) immunoreactive neurons in En/En vs. en/en. Electron microscopy analysis showed neuronal and ICC abnormalities in En/En tissues. The En/En rabbit model shows neuro-ICC changes reminiscent of the human non-aganglionic megacolon. This rabbit model may provide a better understanding of the molecular abnormalities underlying conditions associated with non-aganglionic megacolon.

The KIT Gene Is Associated with the English Spotting Coat Color Locus and Congenital Megacolon in Checkered Giant Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) / Luca Fontanesi;Manuela Vargiolu;Emilio Scotti;Rocco Latorre;Maria Simonetta Faussone Pellegrini;Maurizio Mazzoni;Martina Asti;Roberto Chiocchetti;Giovanni Romeo;Paolo Clavenzani;Roberto De Giorgio. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - STAMPA. - 9:4(2014), pp. e93750.1-e93750.24. [10.1371/journal.pone.0093750]

The KIT Gene Is Associated with the English Spotting Coat Color Locus and Congenital Megacolon in Checkered Giant Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

FONTANESI, LUCA;VARGIOLU, MANUELA;SCOTTI, EMILIO;LATORRE, ROCCO;MAZZONI, MAURIZIO;ASTI, MARTINA;CHIOCCHETTI, ROBERTO;ROMEO, GIOVANNI;CLAVENZANI, PAOLO;DE GIORGIO, ROBERTO
2014

Abstract

The English spotting coat color locus in rabbits, also known as Dominant white spotting locus, is determined by an incompletely dominant allele (En). Rabbits homozygous for the recessive wild-type allele (en/en) are self-colored, heterozygous En/en rabbits are normally spotted, and homozygous En/En animals are almost completely white. Compared to vital en/en and En/en rabbits, En/En animals are subvital because of a dilated ("mega") cecum and ascending colon. In this study, we investigated the role of the KIT gene as a candidate for the English spotting locus in Checkered Giant rabbits and characterized the abnormalities affecting enteric neurons and c-kit positive interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) in the megacolon of En/En rabbits. Twenty-one litters were obtained by crossing three Checkered Giant bucks (En/en) with nine Checkered Giant (En/en) and two en/en does, producing a total of 138 F1 and backcrossed rabbits. Resequencing all coding exons and portions of non-coding regions of the KIT gene in 28 rabbits of different breeds identified 98 polymorphisms. A single nucleotide polymorphism genotyped in all F1 families showed complete cosegregation with the English spotting coat color phenotype (θ=0.00 LOD  =75.56). KIT gene expression in cecum and colon specimens of En/En (pathological) rabbits was 5-10% of that of en/en (control) rabbits. En/En rabbits showed reduced and altered c-kit immunolabelled ICC compared to en/en controls. Morphometric data on whole mounts of the ascending colon showed a significant decrease of HuC/D (P<0.05) and substance P (P<0.01) immunoreactive neurons in En/En vs. en/en. Electron microscopy analysis showed neuronal and ICC abnormalities in En/En tissues. The En/En rabbit model shows neuro-ICC changes reminiscent of the human non-aganglionic megacolon. This rabbit model may provide a better understanding of the molecular abnormalities underlying conditions associated with non-aganglionic megacolon.
2014
The KIT Gene Is Associated with the English Spotting Coat Color Locus and Congenital Megacolon in Checkered Giant Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) / Luca Fontanesi;Manuela Vargiolu;Emilio Scotti;Rocco Latorre;Maria Simonetta Faussone Pellegrini;Maurizio Mazzoni;Martina Asti;Roberto Chiocchetti;Giovanni Romeo;Paolo Clavenzani;Roberto De Giorgio. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - STAMPA. - 9:4(2014), pp. e93750.1-e93750.24. [10.1371/journal.pone.0093750]
Luca Fontanesi;Manuela Vargiolu;Emilio Scotti;Rocco Latorre;Maria Simonetta Faussone Pellegrini;Maurizio Mazzoni;Martina Asti;Roberto Chiocchetti;Giovanni Romeo;Paolo Clavenzani;Roberto De Giorgio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/390721
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