Identification of novel breast cancer susceptibility and resistance genes in genetically diverse human populations is challenging, and so inbred rats have been used to identify novel mammary cancer susceptibility quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with conventional mapping approaches. An alternative approach for QTL mapping is to use chromosome substitution (consomic) rat strains, which has the advantage of rapid generation of congenic from consomic animals. Using a novel rat strain pair, SS and BN, we identified rat mammary cancer QTLs in one of two consomic rat strains tested. Female rats of inbred parental (SS and BN) and two consomic (SS-10 BN and SS-12 BN) strains were treated with 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene orally. The phenotypes of tumor incidence, latency, and multiplicity were evaluated. SS rats were highly susceptible to mammary adenocarcinoma development, whereas BN rats were completely resistant. Statistical comparison of the phenotypes between the susceptible parental and the two consomic strains identified QTLs residing within chromosome 10 controlling mammary tumor latency and multiplicity. The study shows that SS-BN consomic rat strains can be used to map mammary tumor QTLs. This novel approach should accelerate positional cloning of mammary cancer susceptibility and resistant genes in the rat and the identification of homologous genes in humans.
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