Publications by authors named "Bettina Konte"

58 Publications

Sex-Dependent Shared and Nonshared Genetic Architecture Across Mood and Psychotic Disorders.

Biol Psychiatry 2021 Mar 23. Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, North Shore University Health System, Evanston, Illinois.

Background: Sex differences in incidence and/or presentation of schizophrenia (SCZ), major depressive disorder (MDD), and bipolar disorder (BIP) are pervasive. Previous evidence for shared genetic risk and sex differences in brain abnormalities across disorders suggest possible shared sex-dependent genetic risk.

Methods: We conducted the largest to date genome-wide genotype-by-sex (G×S) interaction of risk for these disorders using 85,735 cases (33,403 SCZ, 19,924 BIP, and 32,408 MDD) and 109,946 controls from the PGC (Psychiatric Genomics Consortium) and iPSYCH.

Results: Across disorders, genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphism-by-sex interaction was detected for a locus encompassing NKAIN2 (rs117780815, p = 3.2 × 10), which interacts with sodium/potassium-transporting ATPase (adenosine triphosphatase) enzymes, implicating neuronal excitability. Three additional loci showed evidence (p < 1 × 10) for cross-disorder G×S interaction (rs7302529, p = 1.6 × 10; rs73033497, p = 8.8 × 10; rs7914279, p = 6.4 × 10), implicating various functions. Gene-based analyses identified G×S interaction across disorders (p = 8.97 × 10) with transcriptional inhibitor SLTM. Most significant in SCZ was a MOCOS gene locus (rs11665282, p = 1.5 × 10), implicating vascular endothelial cells. Secondary analysis of the PGC-SCZ dataset detected an interaction (rs13265509, p = 1.1 × 10) in a locus containing IDO2, a kynurenine pathway enzyme with immunoregulatory functions implicated in SCZ, BIP, and MDD. Pathway enrichment analysis detected significant G×S interaction of genes regulating vascular endothelial growth factor receptor signaling in MDD (false discovery rate-corrected p < .05).

Conclusions: In the largest genome-wide G×S analysis of mood and psychotic disorders to date, there was substantial genetic overlap between the sexes. However, significant sex-dependent effects were enriched for genes related to neuronal development and immune and vascular functions across and within SCZ, BIP, and MDD at the variant, gene, and pathway levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.02.972DOI Listing
March 2021

Identifying nootropic drug targets via large-scale cognitive GWAS and transcriptomics.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2021 09 25;46(10):1788-1801. Epub 2021 May 25.

Department of Psychiatry, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Broad-based cognitive deficits are an enduring and disabling symptom for many patients with severe mental illness, and these impairments are inadequately addressed by current medications. While novel drug targets for schizophrenia and depression have emerged from recent large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of these psychiatric disorders, GWAS of general cognitive ability can suggest potential targets for nootropic drug repurposing. Here, we (1) meta-analyze results from two recent cognitive GWAS to further enhance power for locus discovery; (2) employ several complementary transcriptomic methods to identify genes in these loci that are credibly associated with cognition; and (3) further annotate the resulting genes using multiple chemoinformatic databases to identify "druggable" targets. Using our meta-analytic data set (N = 373,617), we identified 241 independent cognition-associated loci (29 novel), and 76 genes were identified by 2 or more methods of gene identification. Actin and chromatin binding gene sets were identified as novel pathways that could be targeted via drug repurposing. Leveraging our transcriptomic and chemoinformatic databases, we identified 16 putative genes targeted by existing drugs potentially available for cognitive repurposing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41386-021-01023-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8357785PMC
September 2021

HLA-DQB1 6672G>C (rs113332494) is associated with clozapine-induced neutropenia and agranulocytosis in individuals of European ancestry.

Transl Psychiatry 2021 04 12;11(1):214. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.

The atypical antipsychotic clozapine is the only effective medication for treatment-resistant schizophrenia. However, it can also induce serious adverse drug reactions, including agranulocytosis and neutropenia. The mechanism by which it does so is largely unknown, but there is evidence for contributing genetic factors. Several studies identified HLA-DQB1 variants and especially a polymorphism located in HLA-DQB1 (6672G>C, rs113332494) as associated with clozapine-induced agranulocytosis and neutropenia. We analysed the risk allele distribution of SNP rs113332494 in a sample of 1396 controls and 178 neutropenia cases of which 60 developed agranulocytosis. Absolute neutrophil counts of 500/mm and 1500/mm were used for defining agranulocytosis and neutropenia cases, respectively. We also performed association analyses and analysed local ancestry patterns in individuals of European ancestry, seeking replication and extension of earlier findings. HLA-DQB1 (6672G>C, rs113332494) was associated with neutropenia (OR = 6.20, P = 2.20E-06) and agranulocytosis (OR = 10.49, P = 1.83E-06) in individuals of European ancestry. The association signal strengthened after including local ancestry estimates (neutropenia: OR = 10.38, P = 6.05E-08; agranulocytosis: OR = 16.31, P = 1.39E-06), with effect sizes being considerably larger for agranulocytosis. Using local ancestry estimates for prediction, the sensitivity of rs113332494 increased from 11.28 to 55.64% for neutropenia and from 16.67 to 53.70% for agranulocytosis. Our study further strengthens the evidence implicating HLA-DQB1 in agranulocytosis and neutropenia, suggesting components of the immune system as contributing to this serious adverse drug reaction. Using local ancestry estimates might help in identifying risk variants and improve prediction of haematological adverse effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01322-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042025PMC
April 2021

High-risk Allele for Herpes Labialis Severity at the IFNL3/4 Locus is Associated With Vestibular Neuritis.

Front Neurol 2020 8;11:570638. Epub 2020 Oct 8.

German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders, University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany.

Vestibular neuritis (VN) is a peripheral vestibular disorder leading to a sudden loss of unilateral vestibular function. Although the underlying etiological mechanisms for disease development are not yet known, there is evidence that a latent infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) might be involved. The polymorphism rs12979860 has been associated with the severity of recurrent herpes labialis and hepatitis C virus (HCV) clearance and treatment outcome and is located within the first intron of the IFNL4 gene on chromosome 19.q13.2. This case control study was conducted to evaluate the association of rs12979860 with VN occurrence. DNA was extracted from EDTA blood of 151 VN patients and 1,775 healthy controls. Genotyping of rs12979860 was performed using iPLEX and MassARRAY Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization-Time of Flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. For association analyses, an additive, dominant and recessive logistic regression model was calculated, using age and sex as covariates. A significant association of rs12979860 with VN was obtained for the additive [OR = 1.51 (1.18-1.92); = 9.23 × 10] and dominant models [OR = 2.15 (1.48-3.13); = 5.86 × 10], with the T allele being more frequent in the VN group. By detecting a significant association of the rs12979860-T risk allele for herpes labialis severity with susceptibility to VN, this study gives further indirect evidence for an involvement of HSV-1 in VN pathology, thereby strengthening the virus hypothesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.570638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7579408PMC
October 2020

Genome-wide association study identifies 48 common genetic variants associated with handedness.

Nat Hum Behav 2021 01 28;5(1):59-70. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Institute of Biological Psychiatry, Mental Health Services of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Handedness has been extensively studied because of its relationship with language and the over-representation of left-handers in some neurodevelopmental disorders. Using data from the UK Biobank, 23andMe and the International Handedness Consortium, we conducted a genome-wide association meta-analysis of handedness (N = 1,766,671). We found 41 loci associated (P < 5 × 10) with left-handedness and 7 associated with ambidexterity. Tissue-enrichment analysis implicated the CNS in the aetiology of handedness. Pathways including regulation of microtubules and brain morphology were also highlighted. We found suggestive positive genetic correlations between left-handedness and neuropsychiatric traits, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Furthermore, the genetic correlation between left-handedness and ambidexterity is low (r = 0.26), which implies that these traits are largely influenced by different genetic mechanisms. Our findings suggest that handedness is highly polygenic and that the genetic variants that predispose to left-handedness may underlie part of the association with some psychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41562-020-00956-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7116623PMC
January 2021

Polymorphisms in CRYBB2 encoding βB2-crystallin are associated with antisaccade performance and memory function.

Transl Psychiatry 2020 04 21;10(1):113. Epub 2020 Apr 21.

Department of Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle, Germany.

βB2-crystallin (gene symbol: Crybb2/CRYBB2) was first described as a structural protein of the ocular lens before it was detected in various brain regions of the mouse, including the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex. Mutations in the mouse Crybb2 gene lead to alterations of sensorimotor gating measured as prepulse inhibition (PPI) and reduced hippocampal size, combined with an altered number of parvalbumin-positive GABAergic interneurons. Decreased PPI and alterations of parvalbumin-positive interneurons are also endophenotypes that typically occur in schizophrenia. To verify the results found in mice, we genotyped 27 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the CRYBB2 gene and its flanking regions and investigated different schizophrenia typical endophenotypes in a sample of 510 schizophrenia patients and 1322 healthy controls. In the case-control study, no association with schizophrenia was found. However, 3 of the 4 investigated haplotype blocks indicated a decreased CRYBB2 mRNA expression. Two of these blocks were associated with poorer antisaccade task performance and altered working memory-linked functional magnetic resonance imaging signals. For the two haplotypes associated with antisaccade performance, suggestive evidence was found with visual memory and in addition, haplotype block 4 showed a nominally significant association with reduced sensorimotor gating, measured as P50 ratio. These results were not schizophrenia-specific, but could be detected in a combined sample of patients and healthy controls. This is the first study to demonstrate the importance of βB2-crystallin for antisaccade performance and memory function in humans and therefore provides implications for βB2-crystallin function in the human brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-020-0791-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7174396PMC
April 2020

A Variation in FGF14 Is Associated with Downbeat Nystagmus in a Genome-Wide Association Study.

Cerebellum 2020 Jun;19(3):348-357

Department of Neurology and German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders, Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich Campus Großhadern, Marchioninistr. 15, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Downbeat nystagmus (DBN) is a frequent form of acquired persisting central fixation nystagmus, often associated with other cerebellar ocular signs, such as saccadic smooth pursuit or gaze-holding deficits. Despite its distinct clinical features, the underlying etiology of DBN often remains unclear. Therefore, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted in 106 patients and 2609 healthy controls of European ancestry to identify genetic variants associated with DBN. A genome-wide significant association (p < 5 × 10) with DBN was found for a variation on chromosome 13 located within the fibroblast growth factor 14 gene (FGF14). FGF14 is expressed in Purkinje cells (PCs) and a reduction leads to a decreased spontaneous firing rate and excitability of PCs, compatible with the pathophysiology of DBN. In addition, mutations in the FGF14 gene cause spinocerebellar ataxia type 27. Suggestive associations (p < 1 × 10) could be detected for 15 additional LD-independent loci, one of which is also located in the FGF14 gene. An association of a region containing the dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) and MutS Homolog 3 (MSH3) genes on chromosome 5 was slightly below the genome-wide significance threshold. DHFR is relevant for neuronal regulation, and a dysfunction is known to induce cerebellar damage. Among the remaining twelve suggestive associations, four genes (MAST4, TPPP, FTMT, and IDS) seem to be involved in cerebral pathological processes. Thus, this GWAS analysis has identified a potential genetic contribution to idiopathic DBN, including suggestive associations to several genes involved in postulated pathological mechanisms of DBN (i.e., impaired function of cerebellar PCs).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12311-020-01113-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7198638PMC
June 2020

Shared genetic risk between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes: Evidence from genome-wide association studies.

Addict Biol 2021 01 16;26(1):e12880. Epub 2020 Feb 16.

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany.

Eating disorders and substance use disorders frequently co-occur. Twin studies reveal shared genetic variance between liabilities to eating disorders and substance use, with the strongest associations between symptoms of bulimia nervosa and problem alcohol use (genetic correlation [r ], twin-based = 0.23-0.53). We estimated the genetic correlation between eating disorder and substance use and disorder phenotypes using data from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Four eating disorder phenotypes (anorexia nervosa [AN], AN with binge eating, AN without binge eating, and a bulimia nervosa factor score), and eight substance-use-related phenotypes (drinks per week, alcohol use disorder [AUD], smoking initiation, current smoking, cigarettes per day, nicotine dependence, cannabis initiation, and cannabis use disorder) from eight studies were included. Significant genetic correlations were adjusted for variants associated with major depressive disorder and schizophrenia. Total study sample sizes per phenotype ranged from ~2400 to ~537 000 individuals. We used linkage disequilibrium score regression to calculate single nucleotide polymorphism-based genetic correlations between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes. Significant positive genetic associations emerged between AUD and AN (r = 0.18; false discovery rate q = 0.0006), cannabis initiation and AN (r = 0.23; q < 0.0001), and cannabis initiation and AN with binge eating (r = 0.27; q = 0.0016). Conversely, significant negative genetic correlations were observed between three nondiagnostic smoking phenotypes (smoking initiation, current smoking, and cigarettes per day) and AN without binge eating (r = -0.19 to -0.23; qs < 0.04). The genetic correlation between AUD and AN was no longer significant after co-varying for major depressive disorder loci. The patterns of association between eating disorder- and substance-use-related phenotypes highlights the potentially complex and substance-specific relationships among these behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/adb.12880DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7429266PMC
January 2021

Three genetic-environmental networks for human personality.

Mol Psychiatry 2019 Nov 21. Epub 2019 Nov 21.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Phylogenetic, developmental, and brain-imaging studies suggest that human personality is the integrated expression of three major systems of learning and memory that regulate (1) associative conditioning, (2) intentionality, and (3) self-awareness. We have uncovered largely disjoint sets of genes regulating these dissociable learning processes in different clusters of people with (1) unregulated temperament profiles (i.e., associatively conditioned habits and emotional reactivity), (2) organized character profiles (i.e., intentional self-control of emotional conflicts and goals), and (3) creative character profiles (i.e., self-aware appraisal of values and theories), respectively. However, little is known about how these temperament and character components of personality are jointly organized and develop in an integrated manner. In three large independent genome-wide association studies from Finland, Germany, and Korea, we used a data-driven machine learning method to uncover joint phenotypic networks of temperament and character and also the genetic networks with which they are associated. We found three clusters of similar numbers of people with distinct combinations of temperament and character profiles. Their associated genetic and environmental networks were largely disjoint, and differentially related to distinct forms of learning and memory. Of the 972 genes that mapped to the three phenotypic networks, 72% were unique to a single network. The findings in the Finnish discovery sample were blindly and independently replicated in samples of Germans and Koreans. We conclude that temperament and character are integrated within three disjoint networks that regulate healthy longevity and dissociable systems of learning and memory by nearly disjoint sets of genetic and environmental influences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-019-0579-xDOI Listing
November 2019

Pleiotropic Meta-Analysis of Cognition, Education, and Schizophrenia Differentiates Roles of Early Neurodevelopmental and Adult Synaptic Pathways.

Am J Hum Genet 2019 08;105(2):334-350

Centre for Epidemiology, Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care, University of Manchester, Manchester M139PL, United Kingdom; School of Healthcare Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6BH, United Kingdom.

Susceptibility to schizophrenia is inversely correlated with general cognitive ability at both the phenotypic and the genetic level. Paradoxically, a modest but consistent positive genetic correlation has been reported between schizophrenia and educational attainment, despite the strong positive genetic correlation between cognitive ability and educational attainment. Here we leverage published genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in cognitive ability, education, and schizophrenia to parse biological mechanisms underlying these results. Association analysis based on subsets (ASSET), a pleiotropic meta-analytic technique, allowed jointly associated loci to be identified and characterized. Specifically, we identified subsets of variants associated in the expected ("concordant") direction across all three phenotypes (i.e., greater risk for schizophrenia, lower cognitive ability, and lower educational attainment); these were contrasted with variants that demonstrated the counterintuitive ("discordant") relationship between education and schizophrenia (i.e., greater risk for schizophrenia and higher educational attainment). ASSET analysis revealed 235 independent loci associated with cognitive ability, education, and/or schizophrenia at p < 5 × 10. Pleiotropic analysis successfully identified more than 100 loci that were not significant in the input GWASs. Many of these have been validated by larger, more recent single-phenotype GWASs. Leveraging the joint genetic correlations of cognitive ability, education, and schizophrenia, we were able to dissociate two distinct biological mechanisms-early neurodevelopmental pathways that characterize concordant allelic variation and adulthood synaptic pruning pathways-that were linked to the paradoxical positive genetic association between education and schizophrenia. Furthermore, genetic correlation analyses revealed that these mechanisms contribute not only to the etiopathogenesis of schizophrenia but also to the broader biological dimensions implicated in both general health outcomes and psychiatric illness.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2019.06.012DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6699140PMC
August 2019

The Relationship Between Polygenic Risk Scores and Cognition in Schizophrenia.

Schizophr Bull 2020 02;46(2):336-344

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK.

Background: Cognitive impairment is a clinically important feature of schizophrenia. Polygenic risk score (PRS) methods have demonstrated genetic overlap between schizophrenia, bipolar disorder (BD), major depressive disorder (MDD), educational attainment (EA), and IQ, but very few studies have examined associations between these PRS and cognitive phenotypes within schizophrenia cases.

Methods: We combined genetic and cognitive data in 3034 schizophrenia cases from 11 samples using the general intelligence factor g as the primary measure of cognition. We used linear regression to examine the association between cognition and PRS for EA, IQ, schizophrenia, BD, and MDD. The results were then meta-analyzed across all samples. A genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of cognition was conducted in schizophrenia cases.

Results: PRS for both population IQ (P = 4.39 × 10-28) and EA (P = 1.27 × 10-26) were positively correlated with cognition in those with schizophrenia. In contrast, there was no association between cognition in schizophrenia cases and PRS for schizophrenia (P = .39), BD (P = .51), or MDD (P = .49). No individual variant approached genome-wide significance in the GWAS.

Conclusions: Cognition in schizophrenia cases is more strongly associated with PRS that index cognitive traits in the general population than PRS for neuropsychiatric disorders. This suggests the mechanisms of cognitive variation within schizophrenia are at least partly independent from those that predispose to schizophrenia diagnosis itself. Our findings indicate that this cognitive variation arises at least in part due to genetic factors shared with cognitive performance in populations and is not solely due to illness or treatment-related factors, although our findings are consistent with important contributions from these factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/schbul/sbz061DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7442352PMC
February 2020

Author Correction: Study of 300,486 individuals identifies 148 independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function.

Nat Commun 2019 May 1;10(1):2068. Epub 2019 May 1.

Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 00014, Finland.

Christina M. Lill, who contributed to analysis of data, was inadvertently omitted from the author list in the originally published version of this article. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10160-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6494826PMC
May 2019

Transancestral GWAS of alcohol dependence reveals common genetic underpinnings with psychiatric disorders.

Nat Neurosci 2018 12 26;21(12):1656-1669. Epub 2018 Nov 26.

NIH/NIAAA, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, Bethesda, MD, USA.

Liability to alcohol dependence (AD) is heritable, but little is known about its complex polygenic architecture or its genetic relationship with other disorders. To discover loci associated with AD and characterize the relationship between AD and other psychiatric and behavioral outcomes, we carried out the largest genome-wide association study to date of DSM-IV-diagnosed AD. Genome-wide data on 14,904 individuals with AD and 37,944 controls from 28 case-control and family-based studies were meta-analyzed, stratified by genetic ancestry (European, n = 46,568; African, n = 6,280). Independent, genome-wide significant effects of different ADH1B variants were identified in European (rs1229984; P = 9.8 × 10) and African ancestries (rs2066702; P = 2.2 × 10). Significant genetic correlations were observed with 17 phenotypes, including schizophrenia, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, depression, and use of cigarettes and cannabis. The genetic underpinnings of AD only partially overlap with those for alcohol consumption, underscoring the genetic distinction between pathological and nonpathological drinking behaviors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41593-018-0275-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6430207PMC
December 2018

Uncovering the complex genetics of human character.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 10 3;25(10):2295-2312. Epub 2018 Oct 3.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Human personality is 30-60% heritable according to twin and adoption studies. Hundreds of genetic variants are expected to influence its complex development, but few have been identified. We used a machine learning method for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to uncover complex genotypic-phenotypic networks and environmental interactions. The Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) measured the self-regulatory components of personality critical for health (i.e., the character traits of self-directedness, cooperativeness, and self-transcendence). In a discovery sample of 2149 healthy Finns, we identified sets of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that cluster within particular individuals (i.e., SNP sets) regardless of phenotype. Second, we identified five clusters of people with distinct profiles of character traits regardless of genotype. Third, we found 42 SNP sets that identified 727 gene loci and were significantly associated with one or more of the character profiles. Each character profile was related to different SNP sets with distinct molecular processes and neuronal functions. Environmental influences measured in childhood and adulthood had small but significant effects. We confirmed the replicability of 95% of the 42 SNP sets in healthy Korean and German samples, as well as their associations with character. The identified SNPs explained nearly all the heritability expected for character in each sample (50 to 58%). We conclude that self-regulatory personality traits are strongly influenced by organized interactions among more than 700 genes despite variable cultures and environments. These gene sets modulate specific molecular processes in brain for intentional goal-setting, self-reflection, empathy, and episodic learning and memory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-018-0263-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7515844PMC
October 2020

Uncovering the complex genetics of human temperament.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 10 2;25(10):2275-2294. Epub 2018 Oct 2.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA.

Experimental studies of learning suggest that human temperament may depend on the molecular mechanisms for associative conditioning, which are highly conserved in animals. The main genetic pathways for associative conditioning are known in experimental animals, but have not been identified in prior genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of human temperament. We used a data-driven machine learning method for GWAS to uncover the complex genotypic-phenotypic networks and environmental interactions related to human temperament. In a discovery sample of 2149 healthy Finns, we identified sets of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that cluster within particular individuals (i.e., SNP sets) regardless of phenotype. Second, we identified 3 clusters of people with distinct temperament profiles measured by the Temperament and Character Inventory regardless of genotype. Third, we found 51 SNP sets that identified 736 gene loci and were significantly associated with temperament. The identified genes were enriched in pathways activated by associative conditioning in animals, including the ERK, PI3K, and PKC pathways. 74% of the identified genes were unique to a specific temperament profile. Environmental influences measured in childhood and adulthood had small but significant effects. We confirmed the replicability of the 51 Finnish SNP sets in healthy Korean (90%) and German samples (89%), as well as their associations with temperament. The identified SNPs explained nearly all the heritability expected in each sample (37-53%) despite variable cultures and environments. We conclude that human temperament is strongly influenced by more than 700 genes that modulate associative conditioning by molecular processes for synaptic plasticity and long-term memory.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-018-0264-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7515831PMC
October 2020

Genome-Wide Association Study in Vestibular Neuritis: Involvement of the Host Factor for HSV-1 Replication.

Front Neurol 2018 20;9:591. Epub 2018 Jul 20.

German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders, University Hospital Munich, Munich, Germany.

In order to identify genetic variants associated with vestibular neuritis, a common cause of peripheral vertigo with a potential causative link to the reactivation of herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1), we conducted a genome-wide association study. Association was assessed using approximately 8 million variants. 131 patients with vestibular neuritis and 2,609 controls of European ancestry were included. Genome-wide associations with vestibular neuritis were detected in 4 regions containing protein coding genes assignable to two functional groups: virus hypothesis and insulin metabolism. Genes of set 1 are related to viral processes: nuclear receptor subfamily 3 group C member 2 (NR3C2) is a receptor for mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids and was shown to be a host factor for HSV-1 replication. Ankyrin repeat domain 30A (ANKRD30A) encodes a host factor for human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) infection. It shows rapid evolution and is induced by interferon stimulation. Mediator complex 30 (MED30), an important member of the mediator complex, has been shown to be involved in replication of HIV-1, a knockdown leading to impaired viral replication. The second set of genes LIM homeobox transcription factor 1 alpha (LMX1A), solute carrier family 30 member 8 (SLC30A8) is associated with insulin metabolism and resistance, a feature of some patients in whom type 2 diabetes is an accompanying comorbidity of vestibular neuritis. Using a GWAS approach to evaluate the etiology of vestibular neuritis these findings provide another piece of evidence that it may be caused by a viral inflammation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00591DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6062961PMC
July 2018

Moderation of the relationship between Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity and trait impulsivity in younger men by the phenylalanine-tyrosine ratio.

Psychiatry Res 2018 12 22;270:992-1000. Epub 2018 Mar 22.

Mood and Anxiety Program, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA; Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC) for Suicide Prevention, Denver, CO, USA; Military and Veteran Microbiome: Consortium for Research and Education (MVM-CoRE). Denver, CO, USA; VA Capitol Health Care Network, Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center (VISN 5 MIRECC), Baltimore, MD, USA. Electronic address:

Previously, we reported that Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii)-seropositivity is associated with higher impulsive sensation seeking in younger men. As dopaminergic and serotonergic signaling regulate impulsivity, and as T. gondii directly and indirectly affects dopaminergic signaling and induces activation of the kynurenine pathway leading to the diversion of tryptophan from serotonin production, we investigated if dopamine and serotonin precursors or the tryptophan metabolite kynurenine interact with the T. gondii-impulsivity association. In 950 psychiatrically healthy participants, trait impulsivity scores were related to T. gondii IgG seropositivity. Interactions were also identified between categorized levels of phenylalanine (Phe), tyrosine (Tyr), Phe:Tyr ratio, kynurenine (Kyn), tryptophan (Trp) and Kyn:Trp ratio, and age and gender. Only younger T. gondii-positive men with a high Phe:Tyr ratio, were found to have significantly higher impulsivity scores. There were no significant associations in other demographic groups, including women and older men. No significant effects or interactions were identified for Phe, Tyr, Kyn, Trp, or Kyn:Trp ratio. Phe:Tyr ratio, therefore, may play a moderating role in the association between T. gondii seropositivity and impulsivity in younger men. These results could potentially lead to individualized approaches to reduce impulsivity, based on combined demographic, biochemical and serological factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2018.03.045DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6371810PMC
December 2018

Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS and Biological Insights Into Cognition: A Response to Hill (2018).

Twin Res Hum Genet 2018 10 13;21(5):394-397. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

Department of Psychiatry,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens Medical School,Eginition Hospital,Athens,Greece.

Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84-88) presented a critique of our recently published paper in Cell Reports entitled 'Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets' (Lam et al., Cell Reports, Vol. 21, 2017, 2597-2613). Specifically, Hill offered several interrelated comments suggesting potential problems with our use of a new analytic method called Multi-Trait Analysis of GWAS (MTAG) (Turley et al., Nature Genetics, Vol. 50, 2018, 229-237). In this brief article, we respond to each of these concerns. Using empirical data, we conclude that our MTAG results do not suffer from 'inflation in the FDR [false discovery rate]', as suggested by Hill (Twin Research and Human Genetics, Vol. 21, 2018, 84-88), and are not 'more relevant to the genetic contributions to education than they are to the genetic contributions to intelligence'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2018.46DOI Listing
October 2018

Genome-wide association meta-analysis in 269,867 individuals identifies new genetic and functional links to intelligence.

Nat Genet 2018 07 25;50(7):912-919. Epub 2018 Jun 25.

Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Intelligence is highly heritable and a major determinant of human health and well-being. Recent genome-wide meta-analyses have identified 24 genomic loci linked to variation in intelligence, but much about its genetic underpinnings remains to be discovered. Here, we present a large-scale genetic association study of intelligence (n = 269,867), identifying 205 associated genomic loci (190 new) and 1,016 genes (939 new) via positional mapping, expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) mapping, chromatin interaction mapping, and gene-based association analysis. We find enrichment of genetic effects in conserved and coding regions and associations with 146 nonsynonymous exonic variants. Associated genes are strongly expressed in the brain, specifically in striatal medium spiny neurons and hippocampal pyramidal neurons. Gene set analyses implicate pathways related to nervous system development and synaptic structure. We confirm previous strong genetic correlations with multiple health-related outcomes, and Mendelian randomization analysis results suggest protective effects of intelligence for Alzheimer's disease and ADHD and bidirectional causation with pleiotropic effects for schizophrenia. These results are a major step forward in understanding the neurobiology of cognitive function as well as genetically related neurological and psychiatric disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-018-0152-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6411041PMC
July 2018

Study of 300,486 individuals identifies 148 independent genetic loci influencing general cognitive function.

Nat Commun 2018 05 29;9(1):2098. Epub 2018 May 29.

Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, 00014, Finland.

General cognitive function is a prominent and relatively stable human trait that is associated with many important life outcomes. We combine cognitive and genetic data from the CHARGE and COGENT consortia, and UK Biobank (total N = 300,486; age 16-102) and find 148 genome-wide significant independent loci (P < 5 × 10) associated with general cognitive function. Within the novel genetic loci are variants associated with neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, physical and psychiatric illnesses, and brain structure. Gene-based analyses find 709 genes associated with general cognitive function. Expression levels across the cortex are associated with general cognitive function. Using polygenic scores, up to 4.3% of variance in general cognitive function is predicted in independent samples. We detect significant genetic overlap between general cognitive function, reaction time, and many health variables including eyesight, hypertension, and longevity. In conclusion we identify novel genetic loci and pathways contributing to the heritability of general cognitive function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04362-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5974083PMC
May 2018

Large-Scale Cognitive GWAS Meta-Analysis Reveals Tissue-Specific Neural Expression and Potential Nootropic Drug Targets.

Cell Rep 2017 Nov;21(9):2597-2613

Division of Brain Sciences, Department of Medicine, Imperial College, London, UK.

Here, we present a large (n = 107,207) genome-wide association study (GWAS) of general cognitive ability ("g"), further enhanced by combining results with a large-scale GWAS of educational attainment. We identified 70 independent genomic loci associated with general cognitive ability. Results showed significant enrichment for genes causing Mendelian disorders with an intellectual disability phenotype. Competitive pathway analysis implicated the biological processes of neurogenesis and synaptic regulation, as well as the gene targets of two pharmacologic agents: cinnarizine, a T-type calcium channel blocker, and LY97241, a potassium channel inhibitor. Transcriptome-wide and epigenome-wide analysis revealed that the implicated loci were enriched for genes expressed across all brain regions (most strongly in the cerebellum). Enrichment was exclusive to genes expressed in neurons but not oligodendrocytes or astrocytes. Finally, we report genetic correlations between cognitive ability and disparate phenotypes including psychiatric disorders, several autoimmune disorders, longevity, and maternal age at first birth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2017.11.028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5789458PMC
November 2017

The Genetics of Endophenotypes of Neurofunction to Understand Schizophrenia (GENUS) consortium: A collaborative cognitive and neuroimaging genetics project.

Schizophr Res 2018 05 3;195:306-317. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

The Cognitive Genetics and Cognitive Therapy Group, Department of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

Background: Schizophrenia has a large genetic component, and the pathways from genes to illness manifestation are beginning to be identified. The Genetics of Endophenotypes of Neurofunction to Understand Schizophrenia (GENUS) Consortium aims to clarify the role of genetic variation in brain abnormalities underlying schizophrenia. This article describes the GENUS Consortium sample collection.

Methods: We identified existing samples collected for schizophrenia studies consisting of patients, controls, and/or individuals at familial high-risk (FHR) for schizophrenia. Samples had single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array data or genomic DNA, clinical and demographic data, and neuropsychological and/or brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. Data were subjected to quality control procedures at a central site.

Results: Sixteen research groups contributed data from 5199 psychosis patients, 4877 controls, and 725 FHR individuals. All participants have relevant demographic data and all patients have relevant clinical data. The sex ratio is 56.5% male and 43.5% female. Significant differences exist between diagnostic groups for premorbid and current IQ (both p<1×10). Data from a diversity of neuropsychological tests are available for 92% of participants, and 30% have structural MRI scans (half also have diffusion-weighted MRI scans). SNP data are available for 76% of participants. The ancestry composition is 70% European, 20% East Asian, 7% African, and 3% other.

Conclusions: The Consortium is investigating the genetic contribution to brain phenotypes in a schizophrenia sample collection of >10,000 participants. The breadth of data across clinical, genetic, neuropsychological, and MRI modalities provides an important opportunity for elucidating the genetic basis of neural processes underlying schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2017.09.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882601PMC
May 2018

The Genetics of Endophenotypes of Neurofunction to Understand Schizophrenia (GENUS) consortium: A collaborative cognitive and neuroimaging genetics project.

Schizophr Res 2018 05 3;195:306-317. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

The Cognitive Genetics and Cognitive Therapy Group, Department of Psychology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.

Background: Schizophrenia has a large genetic component, and the pathways from genes to illness manifestation are beginning to be identified. The Genetics of Endophenotypes of Neurofunction to Understand Schizophrenia (GENUS) Consortium aims to clarify the role of genetic variation in brain abnormalities underlying schizophrenia. This article describes the GENUS Consortium sample collection.

Methods: We identified existing samples collected for schizophrenia studies consisting of patients, controls, and/or individuals at familial high-risk (FHR) for schizophrenia. Samples had single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array data or genomic DNA, clinical and demographic data, and neuropsychological and/or brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data. Data were subjected to quality control procedures at a central site.

Results: Sixteen research groups contributed data from 5199 psychosis patients, 4877 controls, and 725 FHR individuals. All participants have relevant demographic data and all patients have relevant clinical data. The sex ratio is 56.5% male and 43.5% female. Significant differences exist between diagnostic groups for premorbid and current IQ (both p<1×10). Data from a diversity of neuropsychological tests are available for 92% of participants, and 30% have structural MRI scans (half also have diffusion-weighted MRI scans). SNP data are available for 76% of participants. The ancestry composition is 70% European, 20% East Asian, 7% African, and 3% other.

Conclusions: The Consortium is investigating the genetic contribution to brain phenotypes in a schizophrenia sample collection of >10,000 participants. The breadth of data across clinical, genetic, neuropsychological, and MRI modalities provides an important opportunity for elucidating the genetic basis of neural processes underlying schizophrenia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2017.09.024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5882601PMC
May 2018

A genome-wide association study of early gamma-band response in a schizophrenia case-control sample.

World J Biol Psychiatry 2018 12 19;19(8):602-609. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

b Psychiatry Neuroimaging Branch, Imaging Center NeuroImage Nord and Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy , University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf , Hamburg , Germany.

Objectives: Disturbances in the gamma-frequency band of electroencephalography (EEG) measures are among the most consistently observed intermediate phenotypes in schizophrenia. We assessed whether genetic variations are associated with gamma-band activity.

Methods: We performed a genome-wide association analysis of the early auditory evoked gamma-band response in schizophrenia affected subjects and healthy control individuals (in total N = 315).

Results: No marker surpassed the threshold for genome-wide significant association. Several of the markers that were closest to significance mapped to genes involved in neuronal development and the Neuregulin-ErbB signalling network, such as NRG2 and KALRN. Using a gene-set enrichment analysis, we found suggestive evidence for association with genes involved in EEG abnormality (P = .048).

Conclusions: We identified no marker genome-wide significantly associating with gamma response; independent replication of the gene-set analysis result and larger sample sizes will be required to provide leads to cellular pathways involved in gamma-band activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15622975.2017.1366054DOI Listing
December 2018

Cognitive Characterization of Schizophrenia Risk Variants Involved in Synaptic Transmission: Evidence of CACNA1C's Role in Working Memory.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2017 Dec 13;42(13):2612-2622. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

The Cognitive Genetics & Cognitive Therapy Group, The School of Psychology and Discipline of Biochemistry, The Centre for Neuroimaging & Cognitive Genomics, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland.

With >100 common variants associated with schizophrenia risk, establishing their biological significance is a priority. We sought to establish cognitive effects of risk variants at loci implicated in synaptic transmission by (1) identifying GWAS schizophrenia variants whose associated gene function is related to synaptic transmission, and (2) testing for association between these and measures of neurocognitive function. We selected variants, reported in the largest GWAS to date, associated with genes involved in synaptic transmission. Associations between genotype and cognitive test score were analyzed in a discovery sample (988 Irish participants, including 798 with psychosis), and replication samples (528 UK patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder; 921 German participants including 362 patients with schizophrenia). Three loci showed significant associations with neuropsychological performance in the discovery samples. This included an association between the rs2007044 (risk allele G) within CACNA1C and poorer working memory performance (increased errors B (95% CI)=0.635-4.535, p=0.012), an effect driven mainly by the psychosis groups. In an fMRI analysis of working memory performance (n=84 healthy participants, a subset of the discovery sample), we further found evidence that the same CACNA1C allele was associated with decreased functional connectivity between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right superior occipital gyrus/cuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. In conclusion, these data provide evidence to suggest that the CACNA1C risk variant rs2007044 is associated with poorer memory function that may result from risk carriers' difficulty with top-down initiated responses caused by dysconnectivity between the right DLPFC and several cortical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npp.2017.123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5686488PMC
December 2017

Cognitive Characterization of Schizophrenia Risk Variants Involved in Synaptic Transmission: Evidence of CACNA1C's Role in Working Memory.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2017 Dec 13;42(13):2612-2622. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

The Cognitive Genetics & Cognitive Therapy Group, The School of Psychology and Discipline of Biochemistry, The Centre for Neuroimaging & Cognitive Genomics, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland.

With >100 common variants associated with schizophrenia risk, establishing their biological significance is a priority. We sought to establish cognitive effects of risk variants at loci implicated in synaptic transmission by (1) identifying GWAS schizophrenia variants whose associated gene function is related to synaptic transmission, and (2) testing for association between these and measures of neurocognitive function. We selected variants, reported in the largest GWAS to date, associated with genes involved in synaptic transmission. Associations between genotype and cognitive test score were analyzed in a discovery sample (988 Irish participants, including 798 with psychosis), and replication samples (528 UK patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder; 921 German participants including 362 patients with schizophrenia). Three loci showed significant associations with neuropsychological performance in the discovery samples. This included an association between the rs2007044 (risk allele G) within CACNA1C and poorer working memory performance (increased errors B (95% CI)=0.635-4.535, p=0.012), an effect driven mainly by the psychosis groups. In an fMRI analysis of working memory performance (n=84 healthy participants, a subset of the discovery sample), we further found evidence that the same CACNA1C allele was associated with decreased functional connectivity between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right superior occipital gyrus/cuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. In conclusion, these data provide evidence to suggest that the CACNA1C risk variant rs2007044 is associated with poorer memory function that may result from risk carriers' difficulty with top-down initiated responses caused by dysconnectivity between the right DLPFC and several cortical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npp.2017.123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5686488PMC
December 2017

Cognitive Characterization of Schizophrenia Risk Variants Involved in Synaptic Transmission: Evidence of CACNA1C's Role in Working Memory.

Neuropsychopharmacology 2017 Dec 13;42(13):2612-2622. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

The Cognitive Genetics & Cognitive Therapy Group, The School of Psychology and Discipline of Biochemistry, The Centre for Neuroimaging & Cognitive Genomics, National University of Ireland Galway, Galway, Ireland.

With >100 common variants associated with schizophrenia risk, establishing their biological significance is a priority. We sought to establish cognitive effects of risk variants at loci implicated in synaptic transmission by (1) identifying GWAS schizophrenia variants whose associated gene function is related to synaptic transmission, and (2) testing for association between these and measures of neurocognitive function. We selected variants, reported in the largest GWAS to date, associated with genes involved in synaptic transmission. Associations between genotype and cognitive test score were analyzed in a discovery sample (988 Irish participants, including 798 with psychosis), and replication samples (528 UK patients with schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder; 921 German participants including 362 patients with schizophrenia). Three loci showed significant associations with neuropsychological performance in the discovery samples. This included an association between the rs2007044 (risk allele G) within CACNA1C and poorer working memory performance (increased errors B (95% CI)=0.635-4.535, p=0.012), an effect driven mainly by the psychosis groups. In an fMRI analysis of working memory performance (n=84 healthy participants, a subset of the discovery sample), we further found evidence that the same CACNA1C allele was associated with decreased functional connectivity between the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and right superior occipital gyrus/cuneus and anterior cingulate cortex. In conclusion, these data provide evidence to suggest that the CACNA1C risk variant rs2007044 is associated with poorer memory function that may result from risk carriers' difficulty with top-down initiated responses caused by dysconnectivity between the right DLPFC and several cortical regions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/npp.2017.123DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5686488PMC
December 2017

Contribution of copy number variants to schizophrenia from a genome-wide study of 41,321 subjects.

Nat Genet 2017 01 21;49(1):27-35. Epub 2016 Nov 21.

Department of Psychiatry, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.

Copy number variants (CNVs) have been strongly implicated in the genetic etiology of schizophrenia (SCZ). However, genome-wide investigation of the contribution of CNV to risk has been hampered by limited sample sizes. We sought to address this obstacle by applying a centralized analysis pipeline to a SCZ cohort of 21,094 cases and 20,227 controls. A global enrichment of CNV burden was observed in cases (odds ratio (OR) = 1.11, P = 5.7 × 10), which persisted after excluding loci implicated in previous studies (OR = 1.07, P = 1.7 × 10). CNV burden was enriched for genes associated with synaptic function (OR = 1.68, P = 2.8 × 10) and neurobehavioral phenotypes in mouse (OR = 1.18, P = 7.3 × 10). Genome-wide significant evidence was obtained for eight loci, including 1q21.1, 2p16.3 (NRXN1), 3q29, 7q11.2, 15q13.3, distal 16p11.2, proximal 16p11.2 and 22q11.2. Suggestive support was found for eight additional candidate susceptibility and protective loci, which consisted predominantly of CNVs mediated by nonallelic homologous recombination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3725DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5737772PMC
January 2017

A sequence variant associating with educational attainment also affects childhood cognition.

Sci Rep 2016 11 4;6:36189. Epub 2016 Nov 4.

deCODE Genetics/Amgen, Inc., Reykjavik, Iceland.

Only a few common variants in the sequence of the genome have been shown to impact cognitive traits. Here we demonstrate that polygenic scores of educational attainment predict specific aspects of childhood cognition, as measured with IQ. Recently, three sequence variants were shown to associate with educational attainment, a confluence phenotype of genetic and environmental factors contributing to academic success. We show that one of these variants associating with educational attainment, rs4851266-T, also associates with Verbal IQ in dyslexic children (P = 4.3 × 10, β = 0.16 s.d.). The effect of 0.16 s.d. corresponds to 1.4 IQ points for heterozygotes and 2.8 IQ points for homozygotes. We verified this association in independent samples consisting of adults (P = 8.3 × 10, β = 0.12 s.d., combined P = 2.2 x 10, β = 0.14 s.d.). Childhood cognition is unlikely to be affected by education attained later in life, and the variant explains a greater fraction of the variance in verbal IQ than in educational attainment (0.7% vs 0.12%,. P = 1.0 × 10).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep36189DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5095652PMC
November 2016

Kynurenine and Tryptophan Levels in Patients With Schizophrenia and Elevated Antigliadin Immunoglobulin G Antibodies.

Psychosom Med 2016 10;78(8):931-939

From the Mood and Anxiety Program (Okusaga, Postolache) and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Division, Department of Psychiatry (Reeves), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Okusaga), The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas; Division of Biological Chemistry (Fuchs), Biocenter Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria; Department of Psychiatry (Hartmann, Rujescu), University of Halle-Wittenberg, Germany; University of South Florida (Groer), Tampa, Florida; Department of Public Health (Cook), Mercyhurst University, Erie, Pennsylvania; Rocky Mountain Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC; Stearns-Yoder; Hoisington, Brenner, Postolache), Denver, Colorado; Military and Veteran Microbiome Consortium for Research and Education (Stearns-Yoder, Hoisington, Lowry, Brenner, Postolache), Denver, Colorado; Department of Microbiology and Immunology (Pandey), Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina; Maryland Psychiatric Research Center, Department of Psychiatry (Kelly), University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; Johns Hopkins University (Eaton), Baltimore, Maryland; Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (Hoisington), United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado; Department of Integrative Physiology and Center for Neuroscience (Lowry), University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado; Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology, and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Brenner), University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, Colorado; Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 5, Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC; Postolache), Baltimore, Maryland.

Objective: Several studies have reported an association between nonceliac gluten sensitivity and schizophrenia. Immune and kynurenine (KYN) pathways have also been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia, and certain proinflammatory immune mediators may increase KYN and reduce tryptophan (TRP) levels.

Methods: We measured serum antigliadin immunoglobulin G (IgG), KYN, and TRP in 950 patients with schizophrenia. Patients with antibody level at the 90th percentile or higher of control participants (21.9% of all patients) were classified as having elevated antigliadin IgG. Independent t tests and linear regression models were used to compare TRP, KYN, and KYN-TRP ratio (indicator of TRP metabolism) between patients with and those without elevated antigliadin IgG. The correlation between antigliadin IgG and TRP, KYN, and the ratio was also evaluated in the patients.

Results: KYN and KYN-TRP ratio were higher in patients with elevated antigliadin IgG (geometric mean [standard deviation {SD}] = 2.65 [0.25] µmol/L versus 2.25 [0.23] µmol/L [p < .001] and 0.05 [0.26] versus 0.04 [0.25; p = .001] respectively), findings robust to adjustment for potential demographic and clinical confounders. Antigliadin IgG positively correlated with KYN and KYN-TRP ratio (r = 0.12, p < .001; r = 0.11, p = .002). TRP did not differ between the two groups and did not correlate with antigliadin IgG.

Conclusions: Our results connect nonceliac gluten sensitivity with the KYN pathway of TRP metabolism in psychotic illness and hint toward potential individualized treatment targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PSY.0000000000000352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5338470PMC
October 2016
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