Heritability of the aged glutathione phenotype is dependent on tissue of origin
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Glutathione is a ubiquitous antioxidant that protects cells against reactive oxygen species and other chemical stressors. Despite its functional importance, the impact of genetics on the glutathione system has yet to be fully appreciated. Here, we investigated the heritability of glutathione levels and redox status in a disease-relevant condition: advanced age. We assembled a panel of 18–21-month-old mice representing 19 inbred strains and quantified the levels of reduced and oxidized glutathione, and their sums and ratios, in liver, kidney, heart, pancreas, cerebral cortex, and striatum. Heritability values were calculated for each phenotype and the results varied by tissue of origin. Cardiac glutathione phenotypes exhibited the highest heritabilities (G2 = 0.44–0.67), while striatal glutathione was least heritable (G2 = 0.11–0.29). Statistical relationships between tissues were evaluated, and the emergence of significant correlations suggested that despite tissue-specific heritabilities, at least some shared regulatory mechanisms may exist. Overall, these data highlight another mechanism by which genetic background determines antioxidant protection and stress resistance.
The authors gratefully acknowledge Funing Chen for his assistance with this project. This work was supported by the University of Georgia Office of the Vice President for Research; the College of Family and Consumer Sciences; and National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch Grant GEO00735.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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