Sjogren's syndrome (SS) is characterized by salivary gland leukocytic infiltrates and impaired salivation (xerostomia). Cox-2 (Ptgs2) is located on chromosome 1 within the span of the Aec2 region. In an attempt to demonstrate that COX-2 drives antibody-dependent hyposalivation, NOD.B10 congenic mice bearing a Cox-2flox gene were generated. A congenic line with non-NOD alleles in Cox-2-flanking genes failed manifest xerostomia. Further backcrossing yielded disease-susceptible NOD.B10 Cox-2flox lines; fine genetic mapping determined that critical Aec2 genes lie within a 1.56 to 2.17Mb span of DNA downstream of Cox-2. Bioinformatics analysis revealed that susceptible and non-susceptible lines exhibit non-synonymous coding SNPs in 8 protein-encoding genes of this region, thereby better delineating candidate Aec2 alleles needed for SS xerostomia.
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