Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) 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 SLE and, in this report, 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.
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