Pancreatic acinar atrophy (PAA) is a degenerative disease of the exocrine pancreas and is the most common cause of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency in the German Shepherd Dog. Analyses of inheritance have shown that a single gene segregating in an autosomal recessive fashion is causative for PAA. To date the gene and causative mutation have not been determined. To identify a region of interest and/or candidate genes, we conducted linkage and gene expression studies. Analysis of 384 microsatellite markers resulted in a maximum two-point LOD score of 2.5 for FH2107 on CFA03. We used an oligonucleotide array to generate gene expression profiles for normal and affected pancreata. It revealed 244 genes with greater than two-fold difference in expression levels. Five genes of interest were further assessed by TaqMan quantitative real-time RT-PCR that confirmed trends observed using the microarray. One gene, gp25L, located on CFA03, was found to be downregulated by more than 500-fold in affected pancreata and was further investigated as a candidate gene. Sequence data did not reveal a mutation in the coding sequence that segregates with PAA.
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This work was supported by grants from the Canine Health Foundation. The authors thank the GSD owners that generously participated in this study. The authors also thank Catherine André for providing assistance with RH mapping.
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