Research Abstract

N17 - Genetic Association Analyses of Familial Spontaneous Epileptic Cats

Thursday, June 14
3:15 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: WSCC 606/607

Familial spontaneous epileptic cats (FSEC) is the only strain of cats with a suspected genetic cause of epilepsy. The FSEC colony consists of large multigenerational pedigrees with multiple cases. The mode of inheritance is undetermined since the cats have different clinical presentations. The aim of this study was to identify loci that influence susceptibility to epilepsy using genetic association analyses.

Eighty-one cats, including affected and unaffected, from the FSEC colony and the kindred colony were genotyped using the illumina Infinium iSelect Feline 63K DNA array. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were remapped to feline genome assembly v9.0.

Considering 78 cats, 14 trios, including nine with unaffected parents and one affected offspring and five trios with affected individuals were available for transmission disequilibrium tests (TDT). TDT indicated the strongest association of disease with SNPs on cat chromosome B3. SNPs were located between cat chromosome positions ~120.2 to 121.6 Mb, however, genome-wide significance was not obtained. SNPs on cat chromosomes A3, B2, and D4 also indicated association. Among the SNPs with the strongest association, a gene encoding a zinc finger protein was present. Furthermore, several other potential candidate genes harboring the suggested region were detected.

The analysis of the pedigree and the disease presentation in the FSECs, which includes spontaneous seizures, induced seizures or, abnormal electroencephalogram, suggest this form of epilepsy may have a co-dominant mode of inheritance. Although TDT did not reach significance, other methods such as linkage analysis and whole genome sequencing may provide additional support. 

Yoshihiko Yu, DVM

Graduate student / Visiting scholar
Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University/College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia

Dr. Yoshihiko Yu received  his veterinary bachelor’s degree from the Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University in Japan in 2015. In 2015, he started his doctoral studies and clinical  training in Neurology at the Graduate School of Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University, supervised by Daisuke Hasegawa, DVM, PhD, DAiCVIM (Neurology). Dr. Yu's research interests include epilepsy and genetic disease. He is currently training in the Department of Veterinary Medicine & Surgery, University of Missouri as part of his graduate studies pertaining to the genetics of feline familial epilepsy using array-based association studies and next generation sequencing, supervised by Leslie A. Lyons, PhD. He also studies other feline genetic disorders/characteristics and supports teaches for undergraduate students at University of Missouri - Columbia.


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N17 - Genetic Association Analyses of Familial Spontaneous Epileptic Cats


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