Systemic lupus erythematosus is a complex multigenic inherited disease with susceptibility determined by a combination of genetic, environmental and stochastic factors. Although not yet defined, recent technical advances have provided the means to dissect the component genetic contributions of polygenic traits. We have applied such approaches to mouse models of spontaneous systemic lupus erythematosus, and in this presentation I will summarize our genome-wide mapping studies that identified loci predisposing to several major lupus-related traits. Through the generation and study of interval congenic lines, precise mapping, and screening of candidate genes, identification of the specific genes and mechanisms associated with some of the major loci is currently being pursued.
The work of the authors reported herein was supported by National Institutes of Health grants AR39555 and AR30103.