The micro RNA 137 (miR-137) variant rs1625579 has been identified as a genome-wide significant risk variant for schizophrenia. miR-137 has an established role in neurodevelopment and may mediate cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. This role of miR-137 may be related to changes in brain morphology for risk-related genotypes; however this has not yet been delineated. Here we considered whether rs1625579 genotype was predictive of indices of brain structure in patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls. Structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI) data (i.e. 3T T1-TFE or 1.5T T1-MPRAGE) were acquired from 150 healthy controls and 163 schizophrenic patients. Two volumetric analyses that considered the impact of miR-137/rs1625579 genotype were carried out on sMRI data. In the first analysis, voxel based morphometry was employed to consider genotype-related variability in local grey and white matter across the entire brain volume. Our secondary analysis utilized the FIRST protocol in FSL to consider the volume of subcortical structures (i.e. bilateral accumbens, amygdala, caudate, hippocampus, pallidum, putamen and thalamus). Several brain regions in both analyses demonstrated the expected main effect of participant group (i.e. schizophrenics < controls), yet there were no regions where we observed an impact of rs1635579 genotype on brain volume. Our analyses suggest that the mechanism by which miR-137 confers risk for schizophrenia and impacts upon cognitive function may not be mediated by changes in local brain volume. However, it remains to be determined whether or not alternative measures of brain structure are related to these functions of miR-137.
The genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorder involves the interplay of common and rare variants and their impact on hundreds of genes. Using exome sequencing, here we show that analysis of rare coding variation in 3,871 autism cases and 9,937 ancestry-matched or parental controls implicates 22 autosomal genes at a false discovery rate (FDR) < 0.05, plus a set of 107 autosomal genes strongly enriched for those likely to affect risk (FDR < 0.30). These 107 genes, which show unusual evolutionary constraint against mutations, incur de novo loss-of-function mutations in over 5% of autistic subjects. Many of the genes implicated encode proteins for synaptic formation, transcriptional regulation and chromatin-remodelling pathways. These include voltage-gated ion channels regulating the propagation of action potentials, pacemaking and excitability-transcription coupling, as well as histone-modifying enzymes and chromatin remodellers-most prominently those that mediate post-translational lysine methylation/demethylation modifications of histones.
We investigated the variation in neuropsychological function explained by risk alleles at the psychosis susceptibility gene ZNF804A and its interacting partners using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), polygenic scores, and epistatic analyses. Of particular importance was the relative contribution of the polygenic score vs epistasis in variation explained.
Obesity has been shown to be associated with depression and it has been suggested that higher body mass index (BMI) increases the risk of depression and other common mental disorders. However, the causal relationship remains unclear and Mendelian randomisation, a form of instrumental variable analysis, has recently been employed to attempt to resolve this issue.
The small ribosomal subunit assembles cotranscriptionally on the nascent primary transcript. Cleavage at site A2 liberates the pre-40S subunit. We previously identified Bud23 as a conserved eukaryotic methyltransferase that is required for efficient cleavage at A2. Here, we report that Bud23 physically and functionally interacts with the DEAH-box RNA helicase Ecm16 (also known as Dhr1). Ecm16 is also required for cleavage at A2. We identified mutations in ECM16 that suppressed the growth and A2 cleavage defects of a bud23? mutant. RNA helicases often require protein cofactors to provide substrate specificity. We used yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) two-hybrid analysis to map the binding site of Bud23 on Ecm16. Despite the physical and functional interaction between these factors, mutations that disrupted the interaction, as assayed by two-hybrid analysis, did not display a growth defect. We previously identified mutations in UTP2 and UTP14 that suppressed bud23?. We suggest that a network of protein interactions may mask the loss of interaction that we have defined by two-hybrid analysis. A mutation in motif I of Ecm16 that is predicted to impair its ability to hydrolyze ATP led to accumulation of Bud23 in an ?45S particle containing Ecm16. Thus, Bud23 enters the pre-40S pathway at the time of Ecm16 function.
Rare copy-number variation (CNV) is an important source of risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We analyzed 2,446 ASD-affected families and confirmed an excess of genic deletions and duplications in affected versus control groups (1.41-fold, p = 1.0 × 10(-5)) and an increase in affected subjects carrying exonic pathogenic CNVs overlapping known loci associated with dominant or X-linked ASD and intellectual disability (odds ratio = 12.62, p = 2.7 × 10(-15), ?3% of ASD subjects). Pathogenic CNVs, often showing variable expressivity, included rare de novo and inherited events at 36 loci, implicating ASD-associated genes (CHD2, HDAC4, and GDI1) previously linked to other neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as other genes such as SETD5, MIR137, and HDAC9. Consistent with hypothesized gender-specific modulators, females with ASD were more likely to have highly penetrant CNVs (p = 0.017) and were also overrepresented among subjects with fragile X syndrome protein targets (p = 0.02). Genes affected by de novo CNVs and/or loss-of-function single-nucleotide variants converged on networks related to neuronal signaling and development, synapse function, and chromatin regulation.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often co-occur and share genetic risks. The aim of this analysis was to determine more broadly whether ADHD and ASD share biological underpinnings.
There is compelling evidence for the role of copy number variants (CNVs) in schizophrenia susceptibility, and it has been estimated that up to 2-3% of schizophrenia cases may carry rare CNVs. Despite evidence that these events are associated with an increased risk across categorical neurodevelopmental disorders, there is limited understanding of the impact of CNVs on the core features of disorders like schizophrenia. Our objective was to evaluate associations between rare CNVs in differentially brain expressed (BE) genes and the core features and clinical correlates of schizophrenia. The sample included 386 cases of Irish ancestry with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, at least one rare CNV impacting any gene, and a core set of phenotypic measures. Statistically significant associations between deletions in differentially BE genes were found for family history of mental illness (decreased prevalence of all CNVs and deletions, unadjusted and adjusted) and for paternal age (increase in deletions only, unadjusted, among those with later ages at birth of patient). The strong effect of a lack of a family history on BE genes suggests that CNVs may comprise one pathway to schizophrenia, whereas a positive family history could index other genetic mechanisms that increase schizophrenia vulnerability. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation of the association between genome-wide CNVs and risk factors and sub-phenotypic features of schizophrenia beyond cognitive function.
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) attachment to human CD21 on the B-cell surface initiates infection. Whether CD21 is a simple tether or conveys vital information to the cell interior for production of host factors that promote infection of primary B cells is controversial, as the cytoplasmic fragment of CD21 is short, though highly conserved. The ubiquity of CD21 on normal B cells, the diversity of this population, and the well-known resistance of primary B cells to gene transfer technologies have all impeded resolution of this question. To uncover the role(s) of the CD21 cytoplasmic domain during infection initiation, the full-length receptor (CD21=CR), a mutant lacking the entire cytoplasmic tail (CT), and a control vector (NEO) were stably expressed in two pre-B-cell lines that lack endogenous receptor. Genome-wide transcriptional analysis demonstrated that stable CD21 surface expression alone (either CR or CT) produced multiple independent changes in gene expression, though both dramatically decreased class I melanoma-associated antigen (MAGE) family RNAs and upregulated genes associated with B-cell differentiation (e.g., C2TA, HLA-II, IL21R, MIC2, CD48, and PTPRCAP/CD45-associated protein). Temporal analysis spanning 72 h revealed that not only CR- but also CT-expressing lines initiated latency. In spite of this, the number and spectrum of transcripts altered in CR- compared with CT-bearing lines at 1 h after infection further diverged. Differential modulation of immediate early cellular transcripts (e.g., c-Jun and multiple histones), both novel and previously linked to CD21-initiated signaling, as well as distinct results from pathway analyses support a separate role for the cytoplasmic domain in initiation of intracellular signals.
A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP rs1625579) within the micro-RNA 137 (MIR137) gene recently achieved strong genome-wide association with schizophrenia (SZ). However, the mechanisms by which SZ risk may be mediated by this variant are unknown. As miRNAs have the potential to influence oligodendrocyte development, we investigated whether this SNP was associated with variability in white matter (WM) microstructure. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) was conducted on 123 healthy participants genotyped for rs1625579. The analysis consisted of whole-brain tract-based spatial statistics and atlas-based tractography analysis of six major WM tracts known to be affected in SZ - the inferior longitudinal fasciculus, the uncinate fasciculus, the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, the anterior thalamic radiation, the cingulum bundle and the corpus callosum. No significant differences in either whole-brain fractional anisotropy or mean diffusivity between MIR137 genotype groups were observed (p>0.05). Similarly, atlas-based tractography of particular tracts implicated in SZ failed to reveal any significant differences between MIR137 genotype groups on measures of WM connectivity (p>0.05). In the absence of WM effects comparable to those reported for other SZ associated genes, these data suggest that MIR137 alone may not confer variability in these WM measures and therefore may not act in isolation for any effects that the variant may have on WM microstructure in SZ samples.
Processing the emotional content of faces is recognised as a key deficit of schizophrenia, associated with poorer functional outcomes and possibly contributing to the severity of clinical symptoms such as paranoia. At the neural level, fMRI studies have reported altered limbic activity in response to facial stimuli. However, previous studies may be limited by the use of cognitively demanding tasks and static facial stimuli. To address these issues, the current study used a face processing task involving both passive face viewing and dynamic social stimuli. Such a task may (1) lack the potentially confounding effects of high cognitive demands and (2) show higher ecological validity.
Identifying rare, highly penetrant risk mutations may be an important step in dissecting the molecular etiology of schizophrenia. We conducted a gene-based analysis of large (>100 kb), rare copy-number variants (CNVs) in the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2) schizophrenia sample of 1564 cases and 1748 controls all from Ireland, and further extended the analysis to include an additional 5196 UK controls. We found association with duplications at chr20p12.2 (P = 0.007) and evidence of replication in large independent European schizophrenia (P = 0.052) and UK bipolar disorder case-control cohorts (P = 0.047). A combined analysis of Irish/UK subjects including additional psychosis cases (schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) identified 22 carriers in 11 707 cases and 10 carriers in 21 204 controls [meta-analysis Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel P-value = 2 × 10(-4); odds ratio (OR) = 11.3, 95% CI = 3.7, ?]. Nineteen of the 22 cases and 8 of the 10 controls carried duplications starting at 9.68 Mb with similar breakpoints across samples. By haplotype analysis and sequencing, we identified a tandem ~149 kb duplication overlapping the gene p21 Protein-Activated Kinase 7 (PAK7, also called PAK5) which was in linkage disequilibrium with local haplotypes (P = 2.5 × 10(-21)), indicative of a single ancestral duplication event. We confirmed the breakpoints in 8/8 carriers tested and found co-segregation of the duplication with illness in two additional family members of one of the affected probands. We demonstrate that PAK7 is developmentally co-expressed with another known psychosis risk gene (DISC1) suggesting a potential molecular mechanism involving aberrant synapse development and plasticity.
Epidemiological studies have recognized a genetic diathesis for suicidal behavior, which is independent of other psychiatric disorders. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) on suicide attempt (SA) and ideation have failed to identify specific genetic variants. Here, we conduct further GWAS and for the first time, use polygenic score analysis in cohorts of patients with mood disorders, to test for common genetic variants for mood disorders and suicide phenotypes. Genome-wide studies for SA were conducted in the RADIANT and GSK-Munich recurrent depression samples and London Bipolar Affective Disorder Case-Control Study (BACCs) then meta-analysis was performed. A GWAS on suicidal ideation during antidepressant treatment had previously been conducted in the Genome Based Therapeutic Drugs for Depression (GENDEP) study. We derived polygenic scores from each sample and tested their ability to predict SA in the mood disorder cohorts or ideation status in the GENDEP study. Polygenic scores for major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium were used to investigate pleiotropy between psychiatric disorders and suicide phenotypes. No significant evidence for association was detected at any SNP in GWAS or meta-analysis. Polygenic scores for major depressive disorder significantly predicted suicidal ideation in the GENDEP pharmacogenetics study and also predicted SA in a combined validation dataset. Polygenic scores for SA showed no predictive ability for suicidal ideation. Polygenic score analysis suggests pleiotropy between psychiatric disorders and suicidal ideation whereas the tendency to act on such thoughts may have a partially independent genetic diathesis.
The hexonucleotide repeat expansion 'GGGGCC' at the C9ORF72 gene has been strongly linked with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. There is some evidence for clinical and genetic overlap between frontotemporal dementia and schizophrenia. Here, we genotyped the repeat at C9ORF72 in a large Irish psychosis case-control sample (n = 2477). We found no carriers of >30 repeats. We found 7 samples with >22 repeats, 2 schizophrenia cases and 5 controls, but overall we observed no difference in the distribution of the repeat between our case and control samples. By using genome-wide association data to phase haplotypes at this gene, we investigated if carriers of the repeat expansion arose from a single common founder. All samples that carry 17 or more repeats also carry the founder haplotype and overall there is a very strong correlation between repeat length and the founder haplotype (Spearman rho = 0.714, p < 0.001). Our study provides further evidence to bolster the claim that carriers of the repeat expansion at C9ORF72 arose from a single common founder.
Runs of homozygosity (ROH), regions of the genome containing many consecutive homozygous SNPs, may represent two copies of a haplotype inherited from a common ancestor. A rare variant on this haplotype could thus be present in a homozygous and potentially recessive state. To detect rare risk variants for schizophrenia, we performed an ROH analysis in a homogeneous Irish genome wide association study (GWAS) dataset consisting of 1606 cases and 1794 controls. There was no genome-wide excess of ROH in cases compared to controls (p=0.7986). No consensus ROH at individual loci showed association with schizophrenia after genome-wide correction.
Why is he poor? Why is she failing academically? Why is he so generous? Why is she so conscientious? Answers to such everyday questions--social explanations--have powerful effects on relationships at the interpersonal and societal levels. How do people select an explanation in particular cases? We suggest that, often, explanations are selected based on the individual's pre-existing general theories of social causality. More specifically, we suggest that over time individuals develop general beliefs regarding the causes of social events. We refer to these beliefs as social explanatory styles. Our goal in the present article is to offer and validate a measure of individual differences in social explanatory styles. Accordingly, we offer the Social Explanatory Styles Questionnaire (SESQ), which measures three independent dimensions of social explanatory style: Dispositionism, historicism, and controllability. Studies 1-3 examine basic psychometric properties of the SESQ and provide positive evidence regarding internal consistency, factor structure, and both convergent and divergent validity. Studies 4-6 examine predictive validity for each subscale: Does each explanatory dimension moderate an important phenomenon of social cognition? Results suggest that they do. In Study 4, we show that SESQ dispositionism moderates the tendency to make spontaneous trait inferences. In Study 5, we show that SESQ historicism moderates the tendency to commit the Fundamental Attribution Error. Finally, in Study 6 we show that SESQ controllability predicts polarization of moral blame judgments: Heightened blaming toward controllable stigmas (assimilation), and attenuated blaming toward uncontrollable stigmas (contrast). Decades of research suggest that explanatory style regarding the self is a powerful predictor of self-functioning. We think it is likely that social explanatory styles--perhaps comprising interactive combinations of the basic dimensions tapped by the SESQ--will be similarly potent predictors of social functioning. We hope the SESQ will be a useful tool for exploring that possibility.
Alzheimer's disease is a common debilitating dementia with known heritability, for which 20 late onset susceptibility loci have been identified, but more remain to be discovered. This study sought to identify new susceptibility genes, using an alternative gene-wide analytical approach which tests for patterns of association within genes, in the powerful genome-wide association dataset of the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project Consortium, comprising over 7 m genotypes from 25,580 Alzheimer's cases and 48,466 controls.
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder that has no cure. Patients show regression of acquired skills, motor, and speech impairment, cardio-respiratory distress, microcephaly, and stereotyped hand movements. The majority of RTT patients display mutations in the gene that codes for the Methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), which is involved in the development of the central nervous system, especially synaptic and circuit maturation. Thus, agents that promote brain development and synaptic function are good candidates for ameliorating the symptoms of RTT. In particular, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and its active peptide (1-3) IGF1 cross the Blood Brain Barrier, and therefore are ideal treatments for RTT Indeed, both (1-3) IGF1 and IGF1 treatment significantly ameliorates RTT symptoms in a mouse model of the disease In a previous study, we established that IGF1 is safe and well tolerated on Rett patients. In this open label clinical case study, we assess the safety and tolerability of IGF1 administration in two cycles of the treatment. Before and after each cycle, we monitored the clinical and blood parameters, autonomic function, and social and cognitive abilities, and we found that IGF1 was well tolerated each time and did not induce any side effect, nor it interfered with the other treatments that the patient was undergoing. We noticed a moderate improvement in the cognitive, social, and autonomic abilities of the patient after each cycle but the benefits were not retained between the two cycles, consistent with the pre-clinical observation that treatments for RTT should be administered through life. We find that repeated IGF1 treatment is safe and well tolerated in Rett patients but observed effects are not retained between cycles. These results have applications to other pathologies considering that IGF1 has been shown to be effective in other disorders of the autism spectrum.
Abstract Objective: A naturalistic, prospective study of the influence of genetic variation on dose prescribed, clinical response, and side effects related to stimulant medication in 77 children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was undertaken. The influence of genetic variation of the CES1 gene coding for carboxylesterase 1A1 (CES1A1), the major enzyme responsible for the first-pass, stereoselective metabolism of methylphenidate, was investigated. Methods: Parent- and teacher-rated behavioral questionnaires were collected at baseline when the children were medication naïve, and again at 6 weeks while they were on medication. Medication dose, prescribed at the discretion of the treating clinician, and side effects, were recorded at week 6. Blood and saliva samples were collected for genotyping. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected in the coding, non-coding and the 3 flanking region of the CES1 gene. Genetic association between CES1 variants and ADHD was investigated in an expanded sample of 265 Irish ADHD families. Analyses were conducted using analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and logistic regression models. Results: None of the CES1 gene variants were associated with the dose of methylphenidate provided or the clinical response recorded at the 6 week time point. An association between two CES1 SNP markers and the occurrence of sadness as a side effect of short-acting methylphenidate was found. The two associated CES1 markers were in linkage disequilibrium and were significantly associated with ADHD in a larger sample of ADHD trios. The associated CES1 markers were also in linkage disequilibrium with two SNP markers of the noradrenaline transporter gene (SLC6A2). Conclusions: This study found an association between two CES1 SNP markers and the occurrence of sadness as a side effect of short-acting methylphenidate. These markers were in linkage disequilibrium together and with two SNP markers of the noradrenaline transporter gene.
Large and rare copy number variants (CNVs) at several loci have been shown to increase risk for schizophrenia. Aiming to discover novel susceptibility CNV loci, we analyzed 6882 cases and 11 255 controls genotyped on Illumina arrays, most of which have not been used for this purpose before. We identified genes enriched for rare exonic CNVs among cases, and then attempted to replicate the findings in additional 14 568 cases and 15 274 controls. In a combined analysis of all samples, 12 distinct loci were enriched among cases with nominal levels of significance (P < 0.05); however, none would survive correction for multiple testing. These loci include recurrent deletions at 16p12.1, a locus previously associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (P = 0.0084 in the discovery sample and P = 0.023 in the replication sample). Other plausible candidates include non-recurrent deletions at the glutamate transporter gene SLC1A1, a CNV locus recently suggested to be involved in schizophrenia through linkage analysis, and duplications at 1p36.33 and CGNL1. A burden analysis of large (>500 kb), rare CNVs showed a 1.2% excess in cases after excluding known schizophrenia-associated loci, suggesting that additional susceptibility loci exist. However, even larger samples are required for their discovery.
IMPORTANCE The neurobiological underpinnings of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and particularly those associated with the persistence of ADHD into adulthood are not yet well understood. The correlation patterns in spontaneous neural fluctuations at rest are known as resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) and could characterize ADHD-specific connectivity changes. OBJECTIVE To determine the specific location of possible ADHD-related differences in RSFC between adults diagnosed as having ADHD in childhood and control subjects. DESIGN Using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging, we calculated and compared functional connectivity from attention, affective, default, and cognitive control networks involved in the psychopathology of ADHD between the ADHD and control groups. SETTING University psychiatric service and magnetic resonance imaging research center. PARTICIPANTS Sixteen drug-free adults (5 women and 11 men; mean age, 24.5 years) diagnosed with combined-type ADHD in childhood and 16 healthy controls matched for age (mean age, 24.4 years), sex, handedness, and educational level recruited from the community. INTERVENTION Functional magnetic resonance imaging. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Connectivity data from ventral and dorsal attention, affective, default, and cognitive control networks and ADHD symptoms derived from ADHD-specific rating instruments. RESULTS Adults with ADHD showed significantly decreased RSFC within the attention networks and increased RSFC within the affective and default mode and the right lateralized cognitive control networks compared with healthy controls (P?<?.01, familywise error for whole-brain cluster correction). Lower RSFC in the ventral and dorsal attention network was significantly correlated with higher levels of ADHD symptoms (P?<?.001). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE These RSFC findings might underpin a biological basis for adult ADHD and are functionally related to persistent inattention, disturbance in cognitive control, and emotional dysregulation in adults with ADHD. These findings need to be understood in the context of all aspects of brain function in ADHD.
Co-morbidity between depression and anxiety disorders is common. In this study we define a quantitative measure of anxiety by summating four anxiety items from the SCAN interview in a large collection of major depression (MDD) cases to identify genes contributing to this complex phenotype.
OBJECTIVE The authors investigated the effects of recently identified genome-wide significant schizophrenia genetic risk variants on cognition and brain structure. METHOD A panel of six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was selected to represent genome-wide significant loci from three recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for schizophrenia and was tested for association with cognitive measures in 346 patients with schizophrenia and 2,342 healthy comparison subjects. Nominally significant results were evaluated for replication in an independent case-control sample. For SNPs showing evidence of association with cognition, associations with brain structural volumes were investigated in a large independent healthy comparison sample. RESULTS Five of the six SNPs showed no significant association with any cognitive measure. One marker in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region, rs6904071, showed independent, replicated evidence of association with delayed episodic memory and was significant when both samples were combined. In the combined sample of up to 3,100 individuals, this SNP was associated with widespread effects across cognitive domains, although these additional associations were no longer significant after adjusting for delayed episodic memory. In the large independent structural imaging sample, the same SNP was also associated with decreased hippocampal volume. CONCLUSIONS The authors identified a SNP in the MHC region that was associated with cognitive performance in patients with schizophrenia and healthy comparison subjects. This SNP, rs6904071, showed a replicated association with episodic memory and hippocampal volume. These findings implicate the MHC region in hippocampal structure and functioning, consistent with the role of MHC proteins in synaptic development and function. Follow-up of these results has the potential to provide insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and cognition.
Schizophrenia is an idiopathic mental disorder with a heritable component and a substantial public health impact. We conducted a multi-stage genome-wide association study (GWAS) for schizophrenia beginning with a Swedish national sample (5,001 cases and 6,243 controls) followed by meta-analysis with previous schizophrenia GWAS (8,832 cases and 12,067 controls) and finally by replication of SNPs in 168 genomic regions in independent samples (7,413 cases, 19,762 controls and 581 parent-offspring trios). We identified 22 loci associated at genome-wide significance; 13 of these are new, and 1 was previously implicated in bipolar disorder. Examination of candidate genes at these loci suggests the involvement of neuronal calcium signaling. We estimate that 8,300 independent, mostly common SNPs (95% credible interval of 6,300-10,200 SNPs) contribute to risk for schizophrenia and that these collectively account for at least 32% of the variance in liability. Common genetic variation has an important role in the etiology of schizophrenia, and larger studies will allow more detailed understanding of this disorder.
Highly recurrent major depressive disorder (MDD) has reportedly increased risk of shifting to bipolar disorder; high recurrence frequency has, therefore, featured as evidence of soft bipolarity. We aimed to investigate the genetic underpinnings of total depressive episode count in recurrent MDD.
The single nucleotide polymorphism rs10503253 within the CUB and Sushi multiple domains-1 (CSMD1) gene on 8p23.2 has been identified as genome-wide significant for schizophrenia (SZ). This gene is of unknown function but has been implicated in multiple neurodevelopmental disorders that impact upon cognition, leading us to hypothesize that an effect on brain structure and function underlying cognitive processes may be part of the mechanism by which CMSD1 increases illness risk. To test this hypothesis, we investigated this CSMD1 variant in vivo in healthy participants in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study comprised of both fMRI of spatial working memory (N?=?50) and a voxel-based morphometry investigation of grey and white matter (WM) volume (N?=?150). Analyses of these data indicated that the risk "A" allele was associated with comparatively reduced cortical activations in BA18, that is, middle occipital gyrus and cuneus; posterior brain regions that support maintenance processes during performance of a spatial working memory task. Conversely, there was an absence of significant structural differences in brain volume (i.e., grey or WM). In accordance with previous evidence, these data suggest that CSMD1 may mediate brain function related to cognitive processes (i.e., executive function); with the relatively deleterious effects of the identified "A" risk allele on brain activity possibly constituting part of the mechanism by which CSMD1 increases schizophrenia risk.
MIR137 is implicated in brain development and encodes a microRNA that regulates neuronal maturation and adult neurogenesis. Recently, a common genetic variant within MIR137 showed genome wide evidence of association with schizophrenia, and with altered amygdala activation in those at genetic risk for schizophrenia. Following this evidence, we investigated the effects of MIR137 genotype on neuronal activity during face processing.
Stressful life events are an established trigger for depression and may contribute to the heterogeneity within genome-wide association analyses. With depression cases showing an excess of exposure to stressful events compared to controls, there is difficulty in distinguishing between "true" cases and a "normal" response to a stressful environment. This potential contamination of cases, and that from genetically at risk controls that have not yet experienced environmental triggers for onset, may reduce the power of studies to detect causal variants. In the RADIANT sample of 3,690 European individuals, we used propensity score matching to pair cases and controls on exposure to stressful life events. In 805 case-control pairs matched on stressful life event, we tested the influence of 457,670 common genetic variants on the propensity to depression under comparable level of adversity with a sign test. While this analysis produced no significant findings after genome-wide correction for multiple testing, we outline a novel methodology and perspective for providing environmental context in genetic studies. We recommend contextualizing depression by incorporating environmental exposure into genome-wide analyses as a complementary approach to testing gene-environment interactions. Possible explanations for negative findings include a lack of statistical power due to small sample size and conditional effects, resulting from the low rate of adequate matching. Our findings underscore the importance of collecting information on environmental risk factors in studies of depression and other complex phenotypes, so that sufficient sample sizes are available to investigate their effect in genome-wide association analysis.
The Test of Everyday Attention for Children (TEA-Ch) is a reliable neuropsychological assessment of attention control in children. Methylphenidate (MPH) is an effective treatment to improve attentional difficulties in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Previous studies investigating the effects of MPH on attention performance of children with ADHD have produced mixed results and prior MPH usage may have confounded these results. No previous study has tested the effects of MPH on the entire TEA-Ch battery. This study investigated the effects of MPH on attention performance using the entire TEA-Ch in 51 medication-naïve children with ADHD compared with 35 nonmedicated typically developing children. All children were tested at baseline and after 6 weeks: The children with ADHD were medication-naïve at baseline, received MPH for 6 weeks and were tested whilst on medication at the second testing session. A beneficial effect of MPH administration was found on at least one subtest of each of the three forms of attention (selective, sustained, and attentional control) assessed by the TEA-Ch, independent of practice effects. MPH aided performance on the TEA-Ch tasks that were inherently nonarousing and that might require top-down control of attention. It is recommended that the TEA-Ch measures-Sky Search Count (selective attention),Score! (sustained attention), Creature Counting Time Taken for older children (attentional control), and Same Worlds (attentional control) be prioritized for use in future pharmacological studies using MPH.
In vivo models have been required to demonstrate relative cardiac safety, but model sensitivity has not been systematically investigated. Cross-species and human translation of repolarization delay, assessed as QT/QTc prolongation, has not been compared employing common methodologies across multiple species and sites. Therefore, the accurate translation of repolarization results within and between preclinical species, and to man, remains problematic.
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a complex polygenic disorder. This study aimed to discover common and rare DNA variants associated with ADHD in a large homogeneous Han Chinese ADHD case-control sample. The sample comprised 1,040 cases and 963 controls. All cases met DSM-IV ADHD diagnostic criteria. We used the Affymetrix6.0 array to assay both single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and copy number variants (CNVs). Genome-wide association analyses were performed using PLINK. SNP-heritability and SNP-genetic correlations with ADHD in Caucasians were estimated with genome-wide complex trait analysis (GCTA). Pathway analyses were performed using the Interval enRICHment Test (INRICH), the Disease Association Protein-Protein Link Evaluator (DAPPLE), and the Genomic Regions Enrichment of Annotations Tool (GREAT). We did not find genome-wide significance for single SNPs but did find an increased burden of large, rare CNVs in the ADHD sample (P = 0.038). SNP-heritability was estimated to be 0.42 (standard error, 0.13, P = 0.0017) and the SNP-genetic correlation with European Ancestry ADHD samples was 0.39 (SE 0.15, P = 0.0072). The INRICH, DAPPLE, and GREAT analyses implicated several gene ontology cellular components, including neuron projections and synaptic components, which are consistent with a neurodevelopmental pathophysiology for ADHD. This study suggested the genetic architecture of ADHD comprises both common and rare variants. Some common causal variants are likely to be shared between Han Chinese and Caucasians. Complex neurodevelopmental networks may underlie ADHDs etiology.
Because multiple genes with small effect sizes are assumed to play a role in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) etiology, considering multiple variants within the same analysis likely increases the total explained phenotypic variance, thereby boosting the power of genetic studies. This study investigated whether pathway-based analysis could bring scientists closer to unraveling the biology of ADHD.
Studies of economic decision-making have revealed the existence of consistent contributors, who always make contributions to the collective good. It is difficult to understand such behavior in terms of mutualistic motives. Furthermore, consistent contributors can elicit apparently altruistic behavior from others. Therefore, although mutualistic motives are likely an important contributor to moral action, there is more to morality than mutualism.
Most psychiatric disorders are moderately to highly heritable. The degree to which genetic variation is unique to individual disorders or shared across disorders is unclear. To examine shared genetic etiology, we use genome-wide genotype data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium (PGC) for cases and controls in schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We apply univariate and bivariate methods for the estimation of genetic variation within and covariation between disorders. SNPs explained 17-29% of the variance in liability. The genetic correlation calculated using common SNPs was high between schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (0.68 ± 0.04 s.e.), moderate between schizophrenia and major depressive disorder (0.43 ± 0.06 s.e.), bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (0.47 ± 0.06 s.e.), and ADHD and major depressive disorder (0.32 ± 0.07 s.e.), low between schizophrenia and ASD (0.16 ± 0.06 s.e.) and non-significant for other pairs of disorders as well as between psychiatric disorders and the negative control of Crohns disease. This empirical evidence of shared genetic etiology for psychiatric disorders can inform nosology and encourages the investigation of common pathophysiologies for related disorders.
Next-generation RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) maps and analyzes transcriptomes and generates data on sequence variation in expressed genes. There are few reported studies on analysis strategies to maximize the yield of quality RNA-seq SNP data. We evaluated the performance of different SNP-calling methods following alignment to both genome and transcriptome by applying them to RNA-seq data from a HapMap lymphoblastoid cell line sample and comparing results with sequence variation data from 1000 Genomes. We determined that the best method to achieve high specificity and sensitivity, and greatest number of SNP calls, is to remove duplicate sequence reads after alignment to the genome and to call SNPs using SAMtools. The accuracy of SNP calls is dependent on sequence coverage available. In terms of specificity, 89% of RNA-seq SNPs calls were true variants where coverage is >10X. In terms of sensitivity, at >10X coverage 92% of all expected SNPs in expressed exons could be detected. Overall, the results indicate that RNA-seq SNP data are a very useful by-product of sequence-based transcriptome analysis. If RNA-seq is applied to disease tissue samples and assuming that genes carrying mutations relevant to disease biology are being expressed, a very high proportion of these mutations can be detected.
The interaction between adverse life events during childhood and genetic factors is associated with a higher risk to develop major depressive disorder (MDD). One of the polymorphisms found to be associated with MDD is the Val66MET polymorphism of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). The aim of our two-center study was to determine how the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism and childhood adversity affect the volumetric measures of the hippocampus in healthy individuals and people with MDD. In this two-center study, 62 adult patients with MDD and 71 healthy matched controls underwent high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging. We used manual tracing of the bilateral hippocampal structure with help of the software BRAINS2, assessed childhood adversity using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire and genotyped Val66Met BDNF SNP (rs6265). MDD patients had smaller hippocampal volumes, both in the left and right hemispheres (F = 5.4, P = 0.022). We also found a significant interaction between BDNF allele and history of childhood adversity (F = 6.1, P = 0.015): Met allele carriers in our samples showed significantly smaller hippocampal volumes when they did have a history of childhood adversity, both in patients and controls. Our results highlight how relevant stress-gene interactions are for hippocampal volume reductions. Subjects exposed to early life adversity developed smaller hippocampal volumes when they carry the Met-allele of the BDNF polymorphism.
Large genomic copy number variations have been implicated as strong risk factors for schizophrenia. However, the rarity of these events has created challenges for the identification of further pathogenic loci, and extremely large samples are required to provide convincing replication.
Schizophrenia is accompanied by significant impairment in psychosocial functioning, which is only partially explained by clinical symptom severity. Recently, these impairments have been strongly associated with deficits in neurocognition and social cognition. Although the Global Assessment of Function (GAF) scale remains the most widely used measure of psychosocial function in clinical practice, it is unclear whether this instrument is sensitive to changes in cognition, or merely provides a snapshot of symptom severity. To investigate this, we assessed whether variation in GAF score was explained by performance on measures of neurocognitive and social cognition, particularly after variation associated with symptom severity had been accounted for.
The Coloboma mouse carries a ?2 cM deletion encompassing the SNAP25 gene and has a hyperactive phenotype similar to that of ADHD. Such mice are 3 fold more active compared to their control littermates. Genetic association studies support a role for allelic variants of the human SNAP25 gene in predisposing to ADHD.
While it is known that rare copy-number variants (CNVs) contribute to risk for some neuropsychiatric disorders, the role of CNVs in bipolar disorder is unclear. Here, we reasoned that a contribution of CNVs to mood disorders might be most evident for de novo mutations. We performed a genome-wide analysis of de novo CNVs in a cohort of 788 trios. Diagnoses of offspring included bipolar disorder (n = 185), schizophrenia (n = 177), and healthy controls (n = 426). Frequencies of de novo CNVs were significantly higher in bipolar disorder as compared with controls (OR = 4.8 [1.4,16.0], p = 0.009). De novo CNVs were particularly enriched among cases with an age at onset younger than 18 (OR = 6.3 [1.7,22.6], p = 0.006). We also confirmed a significant enrichment of de novo CNVs in schizophrenia (OR = 5.0 [1.5,16.8], p = 0.007). Our results suggest that rare spontaneous mutations are an important contributor to risk for bipolar disorder and other major neuropsychiatric diseases.
To examine the factor structure of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a clinical sample of 1,373 children and adolescents with ADHD and their 1,772 unselected siblings recruited from different countries across a large age range. Hierarchical and correlated factor analytic models were compared separately in the ADHD and sibling samples, across three different instruments and across parent and teacher informants. Specific consideration was given to factorial invariance analyses across different ages and different countries in the ADHD sample.
A common polymorphism within the nitric oxide sythanse-1 (NOS1) gene (rs6490121), initially identified as risk variant for schizophrenia, has been associated with variation in working memory and IQ. Here we investigated how this variation might be mediated at the level of brain structure and function. In healthy individuals (N=157), voxel based morphometry was used to compare grey matter (GM) volume between homozygous and heterozygous carriers of the G allele (i.e. the allele associated with impaired cognition and schizophrenia risk) and homozygous carriers of the non-risk A allele. Functional brain imaging data were also acquired from 48 participants during performance of a spatial working memory (SWM) task, and analysed to determine any effect of NOS1 risk status. An a priori region-of-interest analysis identified a significant reduction in ventromedial prefrontal GM volume in G allele carriers. Risk carriers also exhibited altered patterns of activation in the prefrontal cortex, caudate, and superior parietal lobe, which were characteristic of abnormal increases in activation in frontoparietal working memory networks and a failure to disengage regions of the default mode network. These functional changes suggest a NOS1-mediated processing inefficiency, which may contribute to cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia. While the mechanisms by which NOS1 may influence brain structure and/or function have not yet been well delineated, these data provide further evidence for a role of NOS1 in risk for schizophrenia via an impact upon cognitive function.
Dendritic cells (DCs) play a central role in initiating immune responses. Some persistent viruses infect DCs and can disrupt their functions in vitro. However, these viruses remain strongly immunogenic in vivo. Thus what role DC infection plays in the pathogenesis of persistent infections is unclear. Here we show that a persistent, B cell-tropic gamma-herpesvirus, Murid Herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4), infects DCs early after host entry, before it establishes a substantial infection of B cells. DC-specific virus marking by cre-lox recombination revealed that a significant fraction of the virus latent in B cells had passed through a DC, and a virus attenuated for replication in DCs was impaired in B cell colonization. In vitro MuHV-4 dramatically altered the DC cytoskeleton, suggesting that it manipulates DC migration and shape in order to spread. MuHV-4 therefore uses DCs to colonize B cells.
Calcium-binding protein S100B has been implicated in the pathology of bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) and schizophrenia (SZ). S100B protein levels are elevated in serum of patients with both disorders compared to controls. We previously reported genetic association of a SNP in the promoter of S100B, rs3788266, with a psychotic form of BPAD. To test for genotypic effects of rs3788266 in vivo, S100B serum protein levels were measured in 350 Irish and German subjects of known S100B genotype. The functional effect of rs3788266 on S100B promoter activity was studied using the luciferase reporter system in U373MG glioblastoma and SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell lines. Allelic effects of rs3788266 on protein complex formation at the S100B promoter were investigated by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. Higher mean serum S100B levels were associated with the risk G allele of rs3788266 in BPAD cases (P = 0.0001), unaffected relatives of BPAD cases (P < 0.0001) and unrelated controls (P < 0.0001). Consistent with the in vivo findings, luciferase gene expression was significantly increased in the presence of the G allele compared to the A allele in SH-SY5Y (P = <0.0001), and in U373MG (P = <0.0008) cell lines. The binding affinity of both SH-SY5Y and U373MG protein complexes for the S100B promoter was significantly stronger in the presence of G allele compared to the A allele promoter fragments. These data support rs3788266 as a functional promoter variant in the S100B gene where the presence of the G allele promotes increased gene expression and is associated with increased serum levels of the protein.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable disorder of complex and heterogeneous aetiology. It is primarily characterized by altered cognitive ability including impaired language and communication skills and fundamental deficits in social reciprocity. Despite some notable successes in neuropsychiatric genetics, overall, the high heritability of ASD (~90%) remains poorly explained by common genetic risk variants. However, recent studies suggest that rare genomic variation, in particular copy number variation, may account for a significant proportion of the genetic basis of ASD. We present a large scale analysis to identify candidate genes which may contain low-frequency recessive variation contributing to ASD while taking into account the potential contribution of population differences to the genetic heterogeneity of ASD. Our strategy, homozygous haplotype (HH) mapping, aims to detect homozygous segments of identical haplotype structure that are shared at a higher frequency amongst ASD patients compared to parental controls. The analysis was performed on 1,402 Autism Genome Project trios genotyped for 1 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We identified 25 known and 1,218 novel ASD candidate genes in the discovery analysis including CADM2, ABHD14A, CHRFAM7A, GRIK2, GRM3, EPHA3, FGF10, KCND2, PDZK1, IMMP2L and FOXP2. Furthermore, 10 of the previously reported ASD genes and 300 of the novel candidates identified in the discovery analysis were replicated in an independent sample of 1,182 trios. Our results demonstrate that regions of HH are significantly enriched for previously reported ASD candidate genes and the observed association is independent of gene size (odds ratio 2.10). Our findings highlight the applicability of HH mapping in complex disorders such as ASD and offer an alternative approach to the analysis of genome-wide association data.
There are many instances in genetics in which we wish to determine whether two candidate populations are distinguishable on the basis of their genetic structure. Examples include populations which are geographically separated, case-control studies and quality control (when participants in a study have been genotyped at different laboratories). This latter application is of particular importance in the era of large scale genome wide association studies, when collections of individuals genotyped at different locations are being merged to provide increased power. The traditional method for detecting structure within a population is some form of exploratory technique such as principal components analysis. Such methods, which do not utilise our prior knowledge of the membership of the candidate populations. are termed unsupervised. Supervised methods, on the other hand are able to utilise this prior knowledge when it is available.In this paper we demonstrate that in such cases modern supervised approaches are a more appropriate tool for detecting genetic differences between populations. We apply two such methods, (neural networks and support vector machines) to the classification of three populations (two from Scotland and one from Bulgaria). The sensitivity exhibited by both these methods is considerably higher than that attained by principal components analysis and in fact comfortably exceeds a recently conjectured theoretical limit on the sensitivity of unsupervised methods. In particular, our methods can distinguish between the two Scottish populations, where principal components analysis cannot. We suggest, on the basis of our results that a supervised learning approach should be the method of choice when classifying individuals into pre-defined populations, particularly in quality control for large scale genome wide association studies.
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a range of genes from discrete biological pathways in the aetiology of autism. However, despite the strong influence of genetic factors, association studies have yet to identify statistically robust, replicated major effect genes or SNPs. We apply the principle of the SNP ratio test methodology described by ODushlaine et al to over 2100 families from the Autism Genome Project (AGP). Using a two-stage design we examine association enrichment in 5955 unique gene-ontology classifications across four groupings based on two phenotypic and two ancestral classifications. Based on estimates from simulation we identify excess of association enrichment across all analyses. We observe enrichment in association for sets of genes involved in diverse biological processes, including pyruvate metabolism, transcription factor activation, cell-signalling and cell-cycle regulation. Both genes and processes that show enrichment have previously been examined in autistic disorders and offer biologically plausibility to these findings.
The ?4?? gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor (GABA(A) R) has been proposed to mediate the rewarding effects of low-to-moderate concentrations of alcohol (ethanol) that approximate those achieved by social drinking. If this is true, then this receptor should be necessary for the reinforcing effects of ethanol as assessed in an instrumental self-administration procedure in which rats are trained to lever press for oral ethanol. We used viral-mediated RNA interference to transiently reduce expression of the ?4 GABA(A) R subunit in the shell region of the nucleus accumbens (NAc). We found that responding for ethanol was significantly reduced after ?4 reductions in the NAc shell, but not NAc core. This reduction was specific to ethanol, as responding for sucrose was not altered. The presence of ethanol was also required as unreinforced responding for ethanol in subjects previously trained to respond for ethanol (i.e. responding during an extinction test) was not altered. In addition, responding during reinforced sessions was not altered during the initial 5 minutes of the session, but decreased after 5 minutes, following multiple reinforced responses. Together, these findings indicate that the ?4 GABA(A) R subunit in the NAc shell is necessary for the instrumental reinforcing effects of oral ethanol, further supporting a role for ?4-containing GABA(A) Rs in the rewarding/reinforcing effects of ethanol. Possible pharmacological and non-pharmacological explanations for these effects are considered.
Psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and autism are characterised by cellular disorganisation and dysconnectivity across the brain and can be caused by mutations in genes that control neurodevelopmental processes. To examine how neurodevelopmental defects can affect brain function and behaviour, we have comprehensively investigated the consequences of mutation of one such gene, Semaphorin-6A, on cellular organisation, axonal projection patterns, behaviour and physiology in mice. These analyses reveal a spectrum of widespread but subtle anatomical defects in Sema6A mutants, notably in limbic and cortical cellular organisation, lamination and connectivity. These mutants display concomitant alterations in the electroencephalogram and hyper-exploratory behaviour, which are characteristic of models of psychosis and reversible by the antipsychotic clozapine. They also show altered social interaction and deficits in object recognition and working memory. Mice with mutations in Sema6A or the interacting genes may thus represent a highly informative model for how neurodevelopmental defects can lead to anatomical dysconnectivity, resulting, either directly or through reactive mechanisms, in dysfunction at the level of neuronal networks with associated behavioural phenotypes of relevance to psychiatric disorders. The biological data presented here also make these genes plausible candidates to explain human linkage findings for schizophrenia and autism.
The International Multi-centre ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) project with 11 participating centres from 7 European countries and Israel has collected a large behavioural and genetic database for present and future research. Behavioural data were collected from 1068 probands with ADHD and 1446 unselected siblings. The aim was to describe and analyse questionnaire data and IQ measures from all probands and siblings. In particular, to investigate the influence of age, gender, family status (proband vs. sibling), informant, and centres on sample homogeneity in psychopathological measures.
The International Multi-centre ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) project with 11 participating centres from 7 European countries and Israel has collected a large behavioural and genetic database for present and future research. Behavioural data were collected from 1068 probands with the combined type of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD-CT) and 1446 unselected siblings. The aim was to analyse the IMAGE sample with respect to demographic features (gender, age, family status, and recruiting centres) and psychopathological characteristics (diagnostic subtype, symptom frequencies, age at symptom detection, and comorbidities). A particular focus was on the effects of the study design and the diagnostic procedure on the homogeneity of the sample in terms of symptom-based behavioural data, and potential consequences for further analyses based on these data.
Motor coordination problems are frequent in children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We performed a genome-wide association study to identify genes contributing to motor coordination problems, hypothesizing that the presence of such problems in children with ADHD may identify a sample of reduced genetic heterogeneity.
The difficulty of eliminating herpesvirus carriage makes host entry a key target for infection control. However, its viral requirements are poorly defined. Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) can potentially provide insights into gammaherpesvirus host entry. Upper respiratory tract infection requires the MuHV-4 thymidine kinase (TK) and ribonucleotide reductase large subunit (RNR-L), suggesting a need for increased nucleotide production. However, both TK and RNR-L are likely to be multifunctional. We therefore tested further the importance of nucleotide production by disrupting the MuHV-4 ribonucleotide reductase small subunit (RNR-S). This caused a similar attenuation to RNR-L disruption: despite reduced intra-host spread, invasive inoculations still established infection, whereas a non-invasive upper respiratory tract inoculation did so only at high dose. Histological analysis showed that RNR-S(-), RNR-L(-) and TK(-) viruses all infected cells in the olfactory neuroepithelium but unlike wild-type virus then failed to spread. Thus captured host nucleotide metabolism enzymes, up to now defined mainly as important for alphaherpesvirus reactivation in neurons, also have a key role in gammaherpesvirus host entry. This seemed to reflect a requirement for lytic replication to occur in a terminally differentiated cell before a viable pool of latent genomes could be established.
Arginine vasopressin (AVP) has been hypothesized to play a role in aetiology of autism based on a demonstrated involvement in the regulation of social behaviours. The arginine vasopressin receptor 1A gene (AVPR1A) is widely expressed in the brain and is considered to be a key receptor for regulation of social behaviour. Moreover, genetic variation at AVPR1A has been reported to be associated with autism. Evidence from non-human mammals implicates variation in the 5-flanking region of AVPR1A in variable gene expression and social behaviour.
We sought to identify new susceptibility loci for Alzheimers disease through a staged association study (GERAD+) and by testing suggestive loci reported by the Alzheimers Disease Genetic Consortium (ADGC) in a companion paper. We undertook a combined analysis of four genome-wide association datasets (stage 1) and identified ten newly associated variants with P ? 1 × 10(-5). We tested these variants for association in an independent sample (stage 2). Three SNPs at two loci replicated and showed evidence for association in a further sample (stage 3). Meta-analyses of all data provided compelling evidence that ABCA7 (rs3764650, meta P = 4.5 × 10(-17); including ADGC data, meta P = 5.0 × 10(-21)) and the MS4A gene cluster (rs610932, meta P = 1.8 × 10(-14); including ADGC data, meta P = 1.2 × 10(-16)) are new Alzheimers disease susceptibility loci. We also found independent evidence for association for three loci reported by the ADGC, which, when combined, showed genome-wide significance: CD2AP (GERAD+, P = 8.0 × 10(-4); including ADGC data, meta P = 8.6 × 10(-9)), CD33 (GERAD+, P = 2.2 × 10(-4); including ADGC data, meta P = 1.6 × 10(-9)) and EPHA1 (GERAD+, P = 3.4 × 10(-4); including ADGC data, meta P = 6.0 × 10(-10)).
Recent findings suggest that extrasynaptic ?-subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors are sensitive to low-to-moderate concentrations of alcohol, raising the possibility that these receptors mediate the reinforcing effects of alcohol after consumption of one or a few drinks. We used the technique of viral-mediated RNAi to reduce expression of the GABA(A) receptor ?-subunit in adult rats in localized regions of the nucleus accumbens (NAc) to test the hypothesis that ?-subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors in the NAc are necessary for oral alcohol consumption. We found that knockdown of the ?-subunit in the medial shell region of the NAc, but not in the ventral or lateral shell or in the core, reduced alcohol intake. In contrast, ?-subunit knockdown in the medial shell did not affect intake of a 2% sucrose solution, suggesting that the effects of GABA(A) receptor ?-subunit reduction are specific to alcohol. These results provide strong evidence that extrasynaptic ?-subunit-containing GABA(A) receptors in the medial shell of the NAc are critical for the reinforcing effects of oral ethanol.
A number of genes with function related to synaptic neurochemistry have been genetically associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. However, susceptibility to the development of common psychiatric disorders by single variants acting alone, can so far only explain a small proportion of the heritability of the phenotype. It has been postulated that the unexplained dark heritability may at least in part be due to epistatic effects, which may account for the small observed marginal associations, and the difficulties with replication of positive findings. We undertook a comprehensive exploration of pair-wise interactions between genetic variants in 24 candidate genic regions involved in monoaminergic catabolism, anabolism, release, re-uptake and signal transmission in a sample of 177 parent-affected child trios using a case-only design and a case-pseudocontrol design using conditional logistic regression. Marker-pairs thresholded on interaction odds ratio (OR) and P-value are presented. We detected a number of interaction ORs >4.0, including an interesting correlation between markers in the ADRA1B and DBH genes in affected individuals, and several further interesting but smaller effects. These effects are no larger than you would expect by chance under the assumption of independence of all pair-wise relations; however, independence is unlikely. Furthermore, the size of these effects is of interest and attempts to replicate these results in other samples are anticipated.
Rare copy number variants (CNVs) have a prominent role in the aetiology of schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Substantial risk for schizophrenia is conferred by large (>500-kilobase) CNVs at several loci, including microdeletions at 1q21.1 (ref. 2), 3q29 (ref. 3), 15q13.3 (ref. 2) and 22q11.2 (ref. 4) and microduplication at 16p11.2 (ref. 5). However, these CNVs collectively account for a small fraction (2-4%) of cases, and the relevant genes and neurobiological mechanisms are not well understood. Here we performed a large two-stage genome-wide scan of rare CNVs and report the significant association of copy number gains at chromosome 7q36.3 with schizophrenia. Microduplications with variable breakpoints occurred within a 362-kilobase region and were detected in 29 of 8,290 (0.35%) patients versus 2 of 7,431 (0.03%) controls in the combined sample. All duplications overlapped or were located within 89 kilobases upstream of the vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor gene VIPR2. VIPR2 transcription and cyclic-AMP signalling were significantly increased in cultured lymphocytes from patients with microduplications of 7q36.3. These findings implicate altered vasoactive intestinal peptide signalling in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and indicate the VPAC2 receptor as a potential target for the development of new antipsychotic drugs.
Suicidal behaviour can be conceptualised as a continuum from suicidal ideation, to suicidal attempts to completed suicide. In this study we identify genes contributing to suicidal behaviour in the depression study RADIANT.
In the analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) data, the aim is to detect statistical associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the disease or trait of interest. These SNPs, or the particular regions of the genome they implicate, are then considered for further study. We demonstrate through a comprehensive simulation study that the inclusion of additional, biologically relevant information through a 2-level empirical Bayes hierachical model framework offers a more robust method of detecting associated SNPs. The empirical Bayes approach is an objective means of analyzing the data without the need for the setting of subjective parameter estimates. This framework gives more stable estimates of effects through a reduction of the variability in the usual effect estimates. We also demonstrate the consequences of including additional information that is not informative and examine power and false-positive rates. We apply the methodology to a number of genome-wide association (GWA) data sets with the inclusion of additional biological information. Our results agree with previous findings and in the case of one data set (Crohns disease) suggest an additional region of interest.
Impulsive drive for immediate reward (IDIR) and delay aversion are dissociable elements of the preference for immediate over delayed rewards seen in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We hypothesized that IDIR would be associated with dopamine regulating genes and delay aversion would be associated with serotonin-regulating genes.
We sought to investigate the contribution of extended runs of homozygosity in a genome-wide association dataset of 1,955 Alzheimers disease cases and 955 elderly screened controls genotyped for 529,205 autosomal single nucleotide polymorphisms. Tracts of homozygosity may mark regions inherited from a common ancestor and could reflect disease loci if observed more frequently in cases than controls. We found no excess of homozygous tracts in Alzheimers disease cases compared to controls and no individual run of homozygosity showed association to Alzheimers disease.
The nitric oxide synthasase-1 gene (NOS1) has been implicated in mental disorders including schizophrenia and variation in cognition. The NOS1 variant rs6490121 identified in a genome wide association study of schizophrenia has recently been associated with variation in general intelligence and working memory in both patients and healthy participants. Whether this variant is also associated with variation in early sensory processing remains unclear.
The DAT1 gene codes for the dopamine transporter, which clears dopamine from the synaptic cleft, and a variant of this gene has previously been associated with compromised response inhibition in both healthy and clinical populations. This variant has also been associated with ADHD, a disorder that is characterised by disturbed dopamine function as well as problems with response inhibition. In the present study we used fMRI to investigate the role of dopaminergic genetic variation on executive functioning by comparing how activation associated with successful and unsuccessful inhibitions differs based on DAT1-genotype and ADHD-diagnosis in adolescents performing a go/nogo task. The results identify regional specificity concerning which functional differences can be attributed to the possession of the high risk DAT1 genotype, the clinical condition or an interaction between the two. During response inhibition, individuals with two copies of the 10-repeat allele showed increased activation in frontal, medial, and parietal regions, which may indicate that inhibition is more effortful for this group. Conversely, this group displayed a reduced error response in the parahippocampal gyrus, suggestive of reduced learning from errors. There were also a number of frontal, parietal, medial and occipital regions, where the relationship between genotype and fMRI-activation differed between the ADHD group and the typically developing adolescents. Finally, the ADHD group displayed decreased activation in parietal and (pre)frontal regions during response inhibition, and in frontal and medial brain regions on error trials.
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