In certain rat strains, chronic estrogen administration can lead to pyometritis, an inflammation of the uterus accompanied by infection and the accumulation of intraluminal pus. In this article, we report that the Brown Norway (BN) rat is highly susceptible to pyometritis induced by 17β-estradiol (E2). The susceptibility of the BN rat to E2-induced pyometritis appears to segregate as a recessive trait in crosses to the resistant August × Copenhagen Irish (ACI) strain. In a (BN × ACI)F2 population, we find strong evidence for a major genetic determinant of susceptibility to E2-induced pyometritis on rat chromosome 5 (RNO5). Our data are most consistent with a model in which the BN allele of this locus, designated Eutr1 (Estrogen-induced uterine response 1), acts in an incompletely dominant manner to control E2-induced pyometritis. Furthermore, we have confirmed the contribution of Eutr1 to E2-induced uterine pyometritis using an RNO5 congenic rat strain. In addition to Eutr1, we obtained evidence suggestive of linkage for five additional loci on RNO2, 4, 11, 17, and X that control susceptibility to E2-induced pyometritis in the (BN × ACI)F 2 population.
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