PloS one

Fine-mapping and phenotypic analysis of the Ity3 Salmonella susceptibility locus identify a complex genetic structure.

PMID 24505352


Experimental animal models of Salmonella infections have been widely used to identify genes important in the host immune response to infection. Using an F2 cross between the classical inbred strain C57BL/6J and the wild derived strain MOLF/Ei, we have previously identified Ity3 (Immunity to Typhimurium locus 3) as a locus contributing to the early susceptibility of MOLF/Ei mice to infection with Salmonella Typhimurium. We have also established a congenic strain (B6.MOLF-Ity/Ity3) with the MOLF/Ei Ity3 donor segment on a C57BL/6J background. The current study was designed to fine map and characterize functionally the Ity3 locus. We generated 12 recombinant sub-congenic strains that were characterized for susceptibility to infection, bacterial load in target organs, cytokine profile and anti-microbial mechanisms. These analyses showed that the impact of the Ity3 locus on survival and bacterial burden was stronger in male mice compared to female mice. Fine mapping of Ity3 indicated that two subloci contribute collectively to the susceptibility of B6.MOLF-Ity/Ity3 congenic mice to Salmonella infection. The Ity3.1 sublocus controls NADPH oxidase activity and is characterized by decreased ROS production, reduced inflammatory cytokine response and increased bacterial burden, thereby supporting a role for Ncf2 (neutrophil cytosolic factor 2 a subunit of NADPH oxidase) as the gene underlying this sublocus. The Ity3.2 sub-locus is characterized by a hyperresponsive inflammatory cytokine phenotype after exposure to Salmonella. Overall, this research provides support to the combined action of hormonal influences and complex genetic factors within the Ity3 locus in the innate immune response to Salmonella infection in wild-derived MOLF/Ei mice.