Autoresuscitation (AR) is a highly conserved response among mammals, which allows survival from transient extreme hypoxia. During hypoxia, bradycardia, and hypoxic gasping develop after a brief period of hyperactivity. Normally, AR occurs if oxygen is restored during the gasping period where an initial heart rate increase is rapidly followed resumption or eupneic breathing. Humans and other mammals can survive multiple immediately repeated AR. A defective AR capacity has been implicated in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. We had reported earlier that inbred strains of mice such as BALB/cJ could survive a characteristic number of immediately repeated AR trials, but that SWR/J mice failed to AR from a single hypoxic episode. We now report that strains closely related to SWR/J, FVB/N and SJL/J exhibit partial resuscitation defects relative to BALB/cJ or other mouse strains, establishing a genetic basis for variation in AR failure. The AR trial phenotype of BALB/cJ × SWR/J intercross F1 and F2 mice was consistent with BALB/cJ dominance and a discrete number of loci. Genome-wide mapping conducted with 60 intercross F2 animals linked two loci to the number of AR trials survived, including one sex-specific locus with male expression, consistent with the observed 50% male bias for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in humans. A locus carried on SWR/J chromosome 10 seems to be particularly important in AR failure and was confirmed in a partial consomic line. These results establish a genetic basis for AR failure phenotype in mice, with relevance to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
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