Quantitative trait loci for physical activity traits in mice. Academic Article uri icon


  • The genomic locations and identities of the genes that regulate voluntary physical activity are presently unknown. The purpose of this study was to search for quantitative trait loci (QTL) that are linked with daily mouse running wheel distance, duration, and speed of exercise. F(2) animals (n = 310) derived from high active C57L/J and low active C3H/HeJ inbred strains were phenotyped for 21 days. After phenotyping, genotyping with a fully informative single-nucleotide polymorphism panel with an average intermarker interval of 13.7 cM was used. On all three activity indexes, sex and strain were significant factors, with the F(2) animals similar to the high active C57L/J mice in both daily exercise distance and duration of exercise. In the F(2) cohort, female mice ran significantly farther, longer, and faster than male mice. QTL analysis revealed no sex-specific QTL but at the 5% experimentwise significance level did identify one QTL for duration, one QTL for distance, and two QTL for speed. The QTL for duration (DUR13.1) and distance (DIST13.1) colocalized with the QTL for speed (SPD13.1). Each of these QTL accounted for approximately 6% of the phenotypic variance, whereas SPD9.1 (chromosome 9, 7 cM) accounted for 11.3% of the phenotypic variation. DUR13.1, DIST13.1, SPD13.1, and SPD9.1 were subsequently replicated by haplotype association mapping. The results of this study suggest a genetic basis of voluntary activity in mice and provide a foundation for future candidate gene studies.

published proceedings

  • Physiol Genomics

altmetric score

  • 1

author list (cited authors)

  • Lightfoot, J. T., Turner, M. J., Pomp, D., Kleeberger, S. R., & Leamy, L. J.

citation count

  • 84

complete list of authors

  • Lightfoot, J Timothy||Turner, Michael J||Pomp, Daniel||Kleeberger, Steven R||Leamy, Larry J

publication date

  • February 2008