Publications by authors named "Marian Beekman"

141 Publications

Differential insulin sensitivity of NMR-based metabolomic measures in a two-step hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp study.

Metabolomics 2021 Jun 9;17(6):57. Epub 2021 Jun 9.

Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics; Department of Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300RC, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Insulin is the key regulator of glucose metabolism, but it is difficult to dissect direct insulin from glucose-induced effects. We aimed to investigate the effects of hyperinsulemia on metabolomic measures under euglycemic conditions in nondiabetic participants.

Methods: We assessed concentrations of 151 metabolomic measures throughout a two-step hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp procedure. We included 24 participants (50% women, mean age = 62 [s.d. = 4.2] years) and metabolomic measures were assessed under baseline, low-dose (10 mU/m/min) and high-dose (40 mU/m/min) insulin conditions. The effects of low- and high-dose insulin infusion on metabolomic measures were analyzed using linear mixed-effect models for repeated measures.

Results: After low-dose insulin infusion, 90 metabolomic measures changed in concentration (p < 1.34e), among which glycerol (beta [Confidence Interval] =  - 1.41 [- 1.54, - 1.27] s.d., p = 1.28e) and three-hydroxybutyrate (- 1.22 [- 1.36, - 1.07] s.d., p = 1.44e) showed largest effect sizes. After high-dose insulin infusion, 121 metabolomic measures changed in concentration, among which branched-chain amino acids showed the largest additional decrease compared with low-dose insulin infusion (e.g., Leucine, - 1.78 [- 1.88, - 1.69] s.d., P = 2.7e). More specifically, after low- and high-dose insulin infusion, the distribution of the lipoproteins shifted towards more LDL-sized particles with decreased mean diameters.

Conclusion: Metabolomic measures are differentially insulin sensitive and may thus be differentially affected by the development of insulin resistance. Moreover, our data suggests insulin directly affects metabolomic measures previously associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11306-021-01806-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8190027PMC
June 2021

The trans-ancestral genomic architecture of glycemic traits.

Nat Genet 2021 06 31;53(6):840-860. Epub 2021 May 31.

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

Glycemic traits are used to diagnose and monitor type 2 diabetes and cardiometabolic health. To date, most genetic studies of glycemic traits have focused on individuals of European ancestry. Here we aggregated genome-wide association studies comprising up to 281,416 individuals without diabetes (30% non-European ancestry) for whom fasting glucose, 2-h glucose after an oral glucose challenge, glycated hemoglobin and fasting insulin data were available. Trans-ancestry and single-ancestry meta-analyses identified 242 loci (99 novel; P < 5 × 10), 80% of which had no significant evidence of between-ancestry heterogeneity. Analyses restricted to individuals of European ancestry with equivalent sample size would have led to 24 fewer new loci. Compared with single-ancestry analyses, equivalent-sized trans-ancestry fine-mapping reduced the number of estimated variants in 99% credible sets by a median of 37.5%. Genomic-feature, gene-expression and gene-set analyses revealed distinct biological signatures for each trait, highlighting different underlying biological pathways. Our results increase our understanding of diabetes pathophysiology by using trans-ancestry studies for improved power and resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-021-00852-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7610958PMC
June 2021

Investigating the relationships between unfavourable habitual sleep and metabolomic traits: evidence from multi-cohort multivariable regression and Mendelian randomization analyses.

BMC Med 2021 Mar 18;19(1):69. Epub 2021 Mar 18.

Department of Human Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Sleep traits are associated with cardiometabolic disease risk, with evidence from Mendelian randomization (MR) suggesting that insomnia symptoms and shorter sleep duration increase coronary artery disease risk. We combined adjusted multivariable regression (AMV) and MR analyses of phenotypes of unfavourable sleep on 113 metabolomic traits to investigate possible biochemical mechanisms linking sleep to cardiovascular disease.

Methods: We used AMV (N = 17,368) combined with two-sample MR (N = 38,618) to examine effects of self-reported insomnia symptoms, total habitual sleep duration, and chronotype on 113 metabolomic traits. The AMV analyses were conducted on data from 10 cohorts of mostly Europeans, adjusted for age, sex, and body mass index. For the MR analyses, we used summary results from published European-ancestry genome-wide association studies of self-reported sleep traits and of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) serum metabolites. We used the inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method and complemented this with sensitivity analyses to assess MR assumptions.

Results: We found consistent evidence from AMV and MR analyses for associations of usual vs. sometimes/rare/never insomnia symptoms with lower citrate (- 0.08 standard deviation (SD)[95% confidence interval (CI) - 0.12, - 0.03] in AMV and - 0.03SD [- 0.07, - 0.003] in MR), higher glycoprotein acetyls (0.08SD [95% CI 0.03, 0.12] in AMV and 0.06SD [0.03, 0.10) in MR]), lower total very large HDL particles (- 0.04SD [- 0.08, 0.00] in AMV and - 0.05SD [- 0.09, - 0.02] in MR), and lower phospholipids in very large HDL particles (- 0.04SD [- 0.08, 0.002] in AMV and - 0.05SD [- 0.08, - 0.02] in MR). Longer total sleep duration associated with higher creatinine concentrations using both methods (0.02SD per 1 h [0.01, 0.03] in AMV and 0.15SD [0.02, 0.29] in MR) and with isoleucine in MR analyses (0.22SD [0.08, 0.35]). No consistent evidence was observed for effects of chronotype on metabolomic measures.

Conclusions: Whilst our results suggested that unfavourable sleep traits may not cause widespread metabolic disruption, some notable effects were observed. The evidence for possible effects of insomnia symptoms on glycoprotein acetyls and citrate and longer total sleep duration on creatinine and isoleucine might explain some of the effects, found in MR analyses of these sleep traits on coronary heart disease, which warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12916-021-01939-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7971964PMC
March 2021

Genome-wide association study of circulating interleukin 6 levels identifies novel loci.

Hum Mol Genet 2021 Apr;30(5):393-409

Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) is a multifunctional cytokine with both pro- and anti-inflammatory properties with a heritability estimate of up to 61%. The circulating levels of IL-6 in blood have been associated with an increased risk of complex disease pathogenesis. We conducted a two-staged, discovery and replication meta genome-wide association study (GWAS) of circulating serum IL-6 levels comprising up to 67 428 (ndiscovery = 52 654 and nreplication = 14 774) individuals of European ancestry. The inverse variance fixed effects based discovery meta-analysis, followed by replication led to the identification of two independent loci, IL1F10/IL1RN rs6734238 on chromosome (Chr) 2q14, (Pcombined = 1.8 × 10-11), HLA-DRB1/DRB5 rs660895 on Chr6p21 (Pcombined = 1.5 × 10-10) in the combined meta-analyses of all samples. We also replicated the IL6R rs4537545 locus on Chr1q21 (Pcombined = 1.2 × 10-122). Our study identifies novel loci for circulating IL-6 levels uncovering new immunological and inflammatory pathways that may influence IL-6 pathobiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab023DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8098112PMC
April 2021

Improved selection of participants in genetic longevity studies: family scores revisited.

BMC Med Res Methodol 2021 01 6;21(1). Epub 2021 Jan 6.

Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Section of Molecular Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, 2333, ZA, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Background: Although human longevity tends to cluster within families, genetic studies on longevity have had limited success in identifying longevity loci. One of the main causes of this limited success is the selection of participants. Studies generally include sporadically long-lived individuals, i.e. individuals with the longevity phenotype but without a genetic predisposition for longevity. The inclusion of these individuals causes phenotype heterogeneity which results in power reduction and bias. A way to avoid sporadically long-lived individuals and reduce sample heterogeneity is to include family history of longevity as selection criterion using a longevity family score. A main challenge when developing family scores are the large differences in family size, because of real differences in sibship sizes or because of missing data.

Methods: We discussed the statistical properties of two existing longevity family scores: the Family Longevity Selection Score (FLoSS) and the Longevity Relatives Count (LRC) score and we evaluated their performance dealing with differential family size. We proposed a new longevity family score, the mLRC score, an extension of the LRC based on random effects modeling, which is robust for family size and missing values. The performance of the new mLRC as selection tool was evaluated in an intensive simulation study and illustrated in a large real dataset, the Historical Sample of the Netherlands (HSN).

Results: Empirical scores such as the FLOSS and LRC cannot properly deal with differential family size and missing data. Our simulation study showed that mLRC is not affected by family size and provides more accurate selections of long-lived families. The analysis of 1105 sibships of the Historical Sample of the Netherlands showed that the selection of long-lived individuals based on the mLRC score predicts excess survival in the validation set better than the selection based on the LRC score .

Conclusions: Model-based score systems such as the mLRC score help to reduce heterogeneity in the selection of long-lived families. The power of future studies into the genetics of longevity can likely be improved and their bias reduced, by selecting long-lived cases using the mLRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12874-020-01193-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7789146PMC
January 2021

Cerebral small vessel disease genomics and its implications across the lifespan.

Nat Commun 2020 12 8;11(1):6285. Epub 2020 Dec 8.

University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, Birmingham, AL, 35233, USA.

White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are the most common brain-imaging feature of cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), hypertension being the main known risk factor. Here, we identify 27 genome-wide loci for WMH-volume in a cohort of 50,970 older individuals, accounting for modification/confounding by hypertension. Aggregated WMH risk variants were associated with altered white matter integrity (p = 2.5×10-7) in brain images from 1,738 young healthy adults, providing insight into the lifetime impact of SVD genetic risk. Mendelian randomization suggested causal association of increasing WMH-volume with stroke, Alzheimer-type dementia, and of increasing blood pressure (BP) with larger WMH-volume, notably also in persons without clinical hypertension. Transcriptome-wide colocalization analyses showed association of WMH-volume with expression of 39 genes, of which four encode known drug targets. Finally, we provide insight into BP-independent biological pathways underlying SVD and suggest potential for genetic stratification of high-risk individuals and for genetically-informed prioritization of drug targets for prevention trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-19111-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7722866PMC
December 2020

Metabolic Age Based on the BBMRI-NL H-NMR Metabolomics Repository as Biomarker of Age-related Disease.

Circ Genom Precis Med 2020 10 14;13(5):541-547. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Department of Internal Medicine, Maastricht University Medical Center, the Netherlands (C.D.A.S., C.J.H.v.d.K., M.M.J.v.G.).

Background: The blood metabolome incorporates cues from the environment and the host's genetic background, potentially offering a holistic view of an individual's health status.

Methods: We have compiled a vast resource of proton nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics and phenotypic data encompassing over 25 000 samples derived from 26 community and hospital-based cohorts.

Results: Using this resource, we constructed a metabolomics-based age predictor (metaboAge) to calculate an individual's biological age. Exploration in independent cohorts demonstrates that being judged older by one's metabolome, as compared with one's chronological age, confers an increased risk on future cardiovascular disease, mortality, and functionality in older individuals. A web-based tool for calculating metaboAge (metaboage.researchlumc.nl) allows easy incorporation in other epidemiological studies. Access to data can be requested at bbmri.nl/samples-images-data.

Conclusions: In summary, we present a vast resource of metabolomics data and illustrate its merit by constructing a metabolomics-based score for biological age that captures aspects of current and future cardiometabolic health.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCGEN.119.002610DOI Listing
October 2020

Association of common genetic variants with brain microbleeds: A genome-wide association study.

Neurology 2020 12 10;95(24):e3331-e3343. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

From the Departments of Epidemiology (M.J.K., H.H.H.A., D.V., S.J.v.d.L., P.Y., M.W.V., N.A., C.M.v.D., M.A.I.), Radiology and Nuclear Medicine (H.H.H.A., P.Y., A.v.d.L., M.W.V.), and Clinical Genetics (H.H.H.A.), Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Stroke Research Group, Department of Clinical Neurosciences (D.L., M.T., J.L., D.J.T., H.S.M.), University of Cambridge, UK; Department of Neurology (J.R.J.R., C.L.S., J.J.H., A.S.B., C.D., S. Seshadri), Boston University School of Medicine; The Framingham Heart Study (J.R.J.R., C.L.S., J.J.H., A.S.B., S. Seshadri), MA; Department of Biostatistics (A.V.S.), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Icelandic Heart Association (A.V.S., S. Sigurdsson, V.G.), Kopavogur, Iceland; Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, McGovern Medical School (M.F.), and Human Genetics Center, School of Public Health (M.F.), University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Clinical Division of Neurogeriatrics, Department of Neurology (E.H., L.P., R.S.), Institute for Medical Informatics, Statistics and Documentation (E.H.), and Gottfried Schatz Research Center, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (Y.S., H.S.), Medical University of Graz, Austria; Center of Cerebrovascular Diseases, Department of Neurology (J.L.), West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu; Stroke Research Centre, Queen Square Institute of Neurology (I.C.H., D.W., H.H., D.J.W.), University College London, UK; Department of Neurosurgery (I.C.H.), Klinikum rechts der Isar, University of Munich, Germany; Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, Psychology (M.L., D.C.M.L., M.E.B., I.J.D., J.M.W.), and Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, Edinburgh Imaging, UK Dementia Research Institute (M.E.B., J.M.W.), University of Edinburgh, UK; Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics (S.T.), Department of Cardiology (S.T., J.v.d.G., J.W.J.), Section of Molecular Epidemiology, Biomedical Data Sciences (E.B.v.d.A., M.B., P.E.S.), Leiden Computational Biology Center, Biomedical Data Sciences (E.B.v.d.A.), Department of Radiology (J.v.d.G.), and Einthoven Laboratory for Experimental Vascular Medicine (J.W.J.), Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands; Department of Neurology (A.-K.G., N.S.R.), Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Memory Aging and Cognition Center (S.H., C.C.), National University Health System, Singapore; Department of Pharmacology (S.H., C.C.) and Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (S.H.), National University of Singapore and National University Health System, Singapore; Pattern Recognition & Bioinformatics (E.B.v.d.A.), Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands; Department of Biostatistics (S.L., J.J.H., Q.Y., A.S.B.), Boston University School of Public Health, MA; Department of Radiology (C.R.J., K.K.), Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer's & Neurodegenerative Diseases (C.L.S., S. Seshadri), UT Health San Antonio, TX; Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatrics (B.G.W., T.H.M), and Memory Impairment and Neurodegenerative Dementia (MIND) Center (T.H.M.), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson; Singapore Eye Research Institute (C.Y.C., J.Y.K., T.Y.W.); Department of Neuroradiology (Z.M., J.M.W.), NHS Lothian, Edinburgh; Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences (D.J.S.), College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK; Division of Cerebrovascular Neurology (R.F.G.), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD; Department of Neuroradiology (A.D.M.), Atkinson Morley Neurosciences Centre, St George's NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK; Department of Neurology (C.D.), University of California at Davis; Nuffield Department of Population Health (C.M.v.D.), University of Oxford, UK; Laboratory of Epidemiology and Population Sciences (L.J.L.), National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, MD; and Faculty of Medicine (V.G.), University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Objective: To identify common genetic variants associated with the presence of brain microbleeds (BMBs).

Methods: We performed genome-wide association studies in 11 population-based cohort studies and 3 case-control or case-only stroke cohorts. Genotypes were imputed to the Haplotype Reference Consortium or 1000 Genomes reference panel. BMBs were rated on susceptibility-weighted or T2*-weighted gradient echo MRI sequences, and further classified as lobar or mixed (including strictly deep and infratentorial, possibly with lobar BMB). In a subset, we assessed the effects of ε2 and ε4 alleles on BMB counts. We also related previously identified cerebral small vessel disease variants to BMBs.

Results: BMBs were detected in 3,556 of the 25,862 participants, of which 2,179 were strictly lobar and 1,293 mixed. One locus in the region reached genome-wide significance for its association with BMB (lead rs769449; odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)] 1.33 [1.21-1.45]; = 2.5 × 10). ε4 alleles were associated with strictly lobar (OR [95% CI] 1.34 [1.19-1.50]; = 1.0 × 10) but not with mixed BMB counts (OR [95% CI] 1.04 [0.86-1.25]; = 0.68). ε2 alleles did not show associations with BMB counts. Variants previously related to deep intracerebral hemorrhage and lacunar stroke, and a risk score of cerebral white matter hyperintensity variants, were associated with BMB.

Conclusions: Genetic variants in the region are associated with the presence of BMB, most likely due to the ε4 allele count related to a higher number of strictly lobar BMBs. Genetic predisposition to small vessel disease confers risk of BMB, indicating genetic overlap with other cerebral small vessel disease markers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000010852DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7836652PMC
December 2020

Genetics and Not Shared Environment Explains Familial Resemblance in Adult Metabolomics Data.

Twin Res Hum Genet 2020 06;23(3):145-155

Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Metabolites are small molecules involved in cellular metabolism where they act as reaction substrates or products. The term 'metabolomics' refers to the comprehensive study of these molecules. The concentrations of metabolites in biological tissues are under genetic control, but this is limited by environmental factors such as diet. In adult mono- and dizygotic twin pairs, we estimated the contribution of genetic and shared environmental influences on metabolite levels by structural equation modeling and tested whether the familial resemblance for metabolite levels is mainly explained by genetic or by environmental factors that are shared by family members. Metabolites were measured across three platforms: two based on proton nuclear magnetic resonance techniques and one employing mass spectrometry. These three platforms comprised 237 single metabolic traits of several chemical classes. For the three platforms, metabolites were assessed in 1407, 1037 and 1116 twin pairs, respectively. We carried out power calculations to establish what percentage of shared environmental variance could be detected given these sample sizes. Our study did not find evidence for a systematic contribution of shared environment, defined as the influence of growing up together in the same household, on metabolites assessed in adulthood. Significant heritability was observed for nearly all 237 metabolites; significant contribution of the shared environment was limited to 6 metabolites. The top quartile of the heritability distribution was populated by 5 of the 11 investigated chemical classes. In this quartile, metabolites of the class lipoprotein were significantly overrepresented, whereas metabolites of classes glycerophospholipids and glycerolipids were significantly underrepresented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/thg.2020.53DOI Listing
June 2020

Systematic Evaluation of Normalization Methods for Glycomics Data Based on Performance of Network Inference.

Metabolites 2020 Jul 2;10(7). Epub 2020 Jul 2.

Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Englander Institute for Precision Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York, NY 10022, USA.

Glycomics measurements, like all other high-throughput technologies, are subject to technical variation due to fluctuations in the experimental conditions. The removal of this non-biological signal from the data is referred to as normalization. Contrary to other omics data types, a systematic evaluation of normalization options for glycomics data has not been published so far. In this paper, we assess the quality of different normalization strategies for glycomics data with an innovative approach. It has been shown previously that Gaussian Graphical Models (GGMs) inferred from glycomics data are able to identify enzymatic steps in the glycan synthesis pathways in a data-driven fashion. Based on this finding, here, we quantify the quality of a given normalization method according to how well a GGM inferred from the respective normalized data reconstructs known synthesis reactions in the glycosylation pathway. The method therefore exploits a biological measure of goodness. We analyzed 23 different normalization combinations applied to six large-scale glycomics cohorts across three experimental platforms: Liquid Chromatography - ElectroSpray Ionization - Mass Spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS), Ultra High Performance Liquid Chromatography with Fluorescence Detection (UHPLC-FLD), and Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization - Furier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance - Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-FTICR-MS). Based on our results, we recommend normalizing glycan data using the 'Probabilistic Quotient' method followed by log-transformation, irrespective of the measurement platform. This recommendation is further supported by an additional analysis, where we ranked normalization methods based on their statistical associations with age, a factor known to associate with glycomics measurements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/metabo10070271DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7408386PMC
July 2020

Longevity Relatives Count score identifies heritable longevity carriers and suggests case improvement in genetic studies.

Aging Cell 2020 06 30;19(6):e13139. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Section of Molecular Epidemiology, Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Loci associated with longevity are likely to harbor genes coding for key players of molecular pathways involved in a lifelong decreased mortality and decreased/compressed morbidity. However, identifying such loci is challenging. One of the most plausible reasons is the uncertainty in defining long-lived cases with the heritable longevity trait among long-living phenocopies. To avoid phenocopies, family selection scores have been constructed, but these have not yet been adopted as state of the art in longevity research. Here, we aim to identify individuals with the heritable longevity trait by using current insights and a novel family score based on these insights. We use a unique dataset connecting living study participants to their deceased ancestors covering 37,825 persons from 1,326 five-generational families, living between 1788 and 2019. Our main finding suggests that longevity is transmitted for at least two subsequent generations only when at least 20% of all relatives are long-lived. This proves the importance of family data to avoid phenocopies in genetic studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.13139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7294789PMC
June 2020

Lifestyle-Intervention-Induced Reduction of Abdominal Fat Is Reflected by a Decreased Circulating Glycerol Level and an Increased HDL Diameter.

Mol Nutr Food Res 2020 05 23;64(10):e1900818. Epub 2020 Apr 23.

Department of Molecular Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, 2333ZC, The Netherlands.

Scope: Abdominal obesity is one of the main modifiable risk factors of age-related cardiometabolic disease. Cardiometabolic disease risk and its associated high abdominal fat mass, cholesterol, and glucose concentrations can be reduced by a healthier lifestyle. Hence, the aim is to understand the relation between lifestyle-induced changes in body composition, and specifically abdominal fat, and accompanying changes in circulating metabolic biomarkers.

Methods And Results: Data from the Growing Old Together (GOTO) study was used, which is a single arm lifestyle intervention in which 164 older adults (mean age 63 years, BMI 23-35 kg/m ) changed their lifestyle during 13 weeks by 12.5% caloric restriction plus 12.5% increase in energy expenditure. It is shown here that levels of circulating metabolic biomarkers, even after adjustment for body mass index, specifically associate with abdominal fat mass. The applied lifestyle intervention mainly reduces abdominal fat mass (-2.6%, SD = 3.0) and this reduction, when adjusted for general weight loss, is highly associated with decreased circulating glycerol concentrations and increased HDL diameter.

Conclusion: The lifestyle-induced reduction of abdominal fat mass is particularly associated, independent of body mass index or general weight loss, with decreased circulating glycerol concentrations and increased HDL diameter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201900818DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7317364PMC
May 2020

A data-driven methodology reveals novel myofiber clusters in older human muscles.

FASEB J 2020 04 5;34(4):5525-5537. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Section of Molecular Epidemiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Skeletal muscles control posture, mobility and strength, and influence whole-body metabolism. Muscles are built of different types of myofibers, each having specific metabolic, molecular, and contractile properties. Fiber classification is, therefore, regarded the key for understanding muscle biology, (patho-) physiology. The expression of three myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoforms, MyHC-1, MyHC-2A, and MyHC-2X, marks myofibers in humans. Typically, myofiber classification is performed by an eye-based histological analysis. This classical approach is insufficient to capture complex fiber classes, expressing more than one MyHC-isoform. We, therefore, developed a methodological procedure for high-throughput characterization of myofibers on the basis of multiple isoforms. The mean fluorescence intensity of the three most abundant MyHC isoforms was measured per myofiber in muscle biopsies of 56 healthy elderly adults, and myofiber classes were identified using computational biology tools. Unsupervised clustering revealed the existence of six distinct myofiber clusters. A comparison with the visual assessment of myofibers using the same images showed that some of these myofiber clusters could not be detected or were frequently misclassified. The presence of these six clusters was reinforced by RNA expressions levels of sarcomeric genes. In addition, one of the clusters, expressing all three MyHC isoforms, correlated with histological measures of muscle health. To conclude, this methodological procedure enables deep characterization of the complex muscle heterogeneity. This study opens opportunities to further investigate myofiber composition in comparative studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201902350RDOI Listing
April 2020

Glycosylation of immunoglobulin G is regulated by a large network of genes pleiotropic with inflammatory diseases.

Sci Adv 2020 02 19;6(8):eaax0301. Epub 2020 Feb 19.

MRC Human Genetics Unit, MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK.

Effector functions of immunoglobulin G (IgG) are regulated by the composition of a glycan moiety, thus affecting activity of the immune system. Aberrant glycosylation of IgG has been observed in many diseases, but little is understood about the underlying mechanisms. We performed a genome-wide association study of IgG N-glycosylation ( = 8090) and, using a data-driven network approach, suggested how associated loci form a functional network. We confirmed in vitro that knockdown of decreases the expression of fucosyltransferase FUT8, resulting in increased levels of fucosylated glycans, and suggest that RUNX1 and RUNX3, together with SMARCB1, regulate expression of glycosyltransferase MGAT3. We also show that variants affecting the expression of genes involved in the regulation of glycoenzymes colocalize with variants affecting risk for inflammatory diseases. This study provides new evidence that variation in key transcription factors coupled with regulatory variation in glycogenes modifies IgG glycosylation and has influence on inflammatory diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aax0301DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7030929PMC
February 2020

Metabolomics analyses in non-diabetic middle-aged individuals reveal metabolites impacting early glucose disturbances and insulin sensitivity.

Metabolomics 2020 03 2;16(3):35. Epub 2020 Mar 2.

Section of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Department of Internal Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center, PO Box 9600, 2300 RC, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Introduction: Several plasma metabolites have been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Objectives: We aimed to identify plasma metabolites associated with different indices of early disturbances in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a subsample of the Leiden Longevity Study comprising individuals without a history of diabetes mellitus (n = 233) with a mean age of 63.3 ± 6.7 years of which 48.1% were men. We tested for associations of fasting glucose, fasting insulin, HOMA-IR, Matsuda Index, Insulinogenic Index and glycated hemoglobin with metabolites (Swedish Metabolomics Platform) using linear regression analysis adjusted for age, sex and BMI. Results were validated internally using an independent metabolomics platform (Biocrates platform) and replicated externally in the independent Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity (NEO) study (Metabolon platform) (n = 545, mean age of 55.8 ± 6.0 years of which 48.6% were men). Moreover, in the NEO study, we replicated our analyses in individuals with diabetes mellitus (cases: n = 36; controls = 561).

Results: Out of the 34 metabolites, a total of 12 plasma metabolites were associated with different indices of disturbances in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity in individuals without diabetes mellitus. These findings were validated using a different metabolomics platform as well as in an independent cohort of non-diabetics. Moreover, tyrosine, alanine, valine, tryptophan and alpha-ketoglutaric acid levels were higher in individuals with diabetes mellitus.

Conclusion: We found several plasma metabolites that are associated with early disturbances in glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity of which five were also higher in individuals with diabetes mellitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11306-020-01653-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7051926PMC
March 2020

Genome-wide Association Analysis in Humans Links Nucleotide Metabolism to Leukocyte Telomere Length.

Am J Hum Genet 2020 03 27;106(3):389-404. Epub 2020 Feb 27.

Department of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Leicester, LE3 9QP, United Kingdom; NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre, Glenfield Hospital, Leicester, LE3 9QP, United Kingdom.

Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is a heritable biomarker of genomic aging. In this study, we perform a genome-wide meta-analysis of LTL by pooling densely genotyped and imputed association results across large-scale European-descent studies including up to 78,592 individuals. We identify 49 genomic regions at a false dicovery rate (FDR) < 0.05 threshold and prioritize genes at 31, with five highlighting nucleotide metabolism as an important regulator of LTL. We report six genome-wide significant loci in or near SENP7, MOB1B, CARMIL1, PRRC2A, TERF2, and RFWD3, and our results support recently identified PARP1, POT1, ATM, and MPHOSPH6 loci. Phenome-wide analyses in >350,000 UK Biobank participants suggest that genetically shorter telomere length increases the risk of hypothyroidism and decreases the risk of thyroid cancer, lymphoma, and a range of proliferative conditions. Our results replicate previously reported associations with increased risk of coronary artery disease and lower risk for multiple cancer types. Our findings substantially expand current knowledge on genes that regulate LTL and their impact on human health and disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.02.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7058826PMC
March 2020

Building robust models for Human Activity Recognition from raw accelerometers data using Gated Recurrent Units and Long Short Term Memory Neural Networks.

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc 2019 Jul;2019:2486-2491

Human Activity Recognition (HAR) is a growing field of research in biomedical engineering and it has many potential applications in the treatment and prevention of several diseases. Due to the recent advancement in technology, devices that collect position and orientation measurements (e.g. accelerometers and gyroscopes) are becoming ubiquitous. These measurements can then be used to train machine learning models for HAR. In this research, we propose one recurrent neural network architecture and a data augmentation approach for building robust and accurate models for HAR. We compared models with Long Short Term Memory (LSTM) and Gated Recurrent Unit (GRU) layers. The proposed data augmentation approach was used to make the models robust to the cases where one or more sensors are missing. In this empirical study, we could also understand some relations between the ideal locations of the sensors in the participants and the types of activities performed. The proposed approaches were tested in the GOTOv dataset from a study which involved 35 participants performing 16 sedentary, ambulatory and lifestyle activities in a semi-structured environment. The results presented, clearly show that the models are able to detect these activities in a robust way.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2019.8857288DOI Listing
July 2019

Integration of epidemiologic, pharmacologic, genetic and gut microbiome data in a drug-metabolite atlas.

Nat Med 2020 01 13;26(1):110-117. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Progress in high-throughput metabolic profiling provides unprecedented opportunities to obtain insights into the effects of drugs on human metabolism. The Biobanking BioMolecular Research Infrastructure of the Netherlands has constructed an atlas of drug-metabolite associations for 87 commonly prescribed drugs and 150 clinically relevant plasma-based metabolites assessed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance. The atlas includes a meta-analysis of ten cohorts (18,873 persons) and uncovers 1,071 drug-metabolite associations after evaluation of confounders including co-treatment. We show that the effect estimates of statins on metabolites from the cross-sectional study are comparable to those from intervention and genetic observational studies. Further data integration links proton pump inhibitors to circulating metabolites, liver function, hepatic steatosis and the gut microbiome. Our atlas provides a tool for targeted experimental pharmaceutical research and clinical trials to improve drug efficacy, safety and repurposing. We provide a web-based resource for visualization of the atlas (http://bbmri.researchlumc.nl/atlas/).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-019-0722-xDOI Listing
January 2020

Heritability estimates for 361 blood metabolites across 40 genome-wide association studies.

Nat Commun 2020 01 7;11(1):39. Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Department of Biological Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Metabolomics examines the small molecules involved in cellular metabolism. Approximately 50% of total phenotypic differences in metabolite levels is due to genetic variance, but heritability estimates differ across metabolite classes. We perform a review of all genome-wide association and (exome-) sequencing studies published between November 2008 and October 2018, and identify >800 class-specific metabolite loci associated with metabolite levels. In a twin-family cohort (N = 5117), these metabolite loci are leveraged to simultaneously estimate total heritability (h), and the proportion of heritability captured by known metabolite loci (h) for 309 lipids and 52 organic acids. Our study reveals significant differences in h among different classes of lipids and organic acids. Furthermore, phosphatidylcholines with a high degree of unsaturation have higher h estimates than phosphatidylcholines with low degrees of unsaturation. This study highlights the importance of common genetic variants for metabolite levels, and elucidates the genetic architecture of metabolite classes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13770-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6946682PMC
January 2020

Metabolomics Profile in Depression: A Pooled Analysis of 230 Metabolic Markers in 5283 Cases With Depression and 10,145 Controls.

Biol Psychiatry 2020 03 29;87(5):409-418. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Department of Biological Psychology, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Depression has been associated with metabolic alterations, which adversely impact cardiometabolic health. Here, a comprehensive set of metabolic markers, predominantly lipids, was compared between depressed and nondepressed persons.

Methods: Nine Dutch cohorts were included, comprising 10,145 control subjects and 5283 persons with depression, established with diagnostic interviews or questionnaires. A proton nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomics platform provided 230 metabolite measures: 51 lipids, fatty acids, and low-molecular-weight metabolites; 98 lipid composition and particle concentration measures of lipoprotein subclasses; and 81 lipid and fatty acids ratios. For each metabolite measure, logistic regression analyses adjusted for gender, age, smoking, fasting status, and lipid-modifying medication were performed within cohort, followed by random-effects meta-analyses.

Results: Of the 51 lipids, fatty acids, and low-molecular-weight metabolites, 21 were significantly related to depression (false discovery rate q < .05). Higher levels of apolipoprotein B, very-low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, diglycerides, total and monounsaturated fatty acids, fatty acid chain length, glycoprotein acetyls, tyrosine, and isoleucine and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, acetate, and apolipoprotein A1 were associated with increased odds of depression. Analyses of lipid composition indicators confirmed a shift toward less high-density lipoprotein and more very-low-density lipoprotein and triglyceride particles in depression. Associations appeared generally consistent across gender, age, and body mass index strata and across cohorts with depressive diagnoses versus symptoms.

Conclusions: This large-scale meta-analysis indicates a clear distinctive profile of circulating lipid metabolites associated with depression, potentially opening new prevention or treatment avenues for depression and its associated cardiometabolic comorbidity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.08.016DOI Listing
March 2020

Senescent human melanocytes drive skin ageing via paracrine telomere dysfunction.

EMBO J 2019 12 21;38(23):e101982. Epub 2019 Oct 21.

Ageing Research Laboratories, Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Cellular senescence has been shown to contribute to skin ageing. However, the role of melanocytes in the process is understudied. Our data show that melanocytes are the only epidermal cell type to express the senescence marker p16 during human skin ageing. Aged melanocytes also display additional markers of senescence such as reduced HMGB1 and dysfunctional telomeres, without detectable telomere shortening. Additionally, senescent melanocyte SASP induces telomere dysfunction in paracrine manner and limits proliferation of surrounding cells via activation of CXCR3-dependent mitochondrial ROS. Finally, senescent melanocytes impair basal keratinocyte proliferation and contribute to epidermal atrophy in vitro using 3D human epidermal equivalents. Crucially, clearance of senescent melanocytes using the senolytic drug ABT737 or treatment with mitochondria-targeted antioxidant MitoQ suppressed this effect. In conclusion, our study provides proof-of-concept evidence that senescent melanocytes affect keratinocyte function and act as drivers of human skin ageing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embj.2019101982DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6885734PMC
December 2019

Validated inference of smoking habits from blood with a finite DNA methylation marker set.

Eur J Epidemiol 2019 Nov 7;34(11):1055-1074. Epub 2019 Sep 7.

Department of Genetic Identification, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Inferring a person's smoking habit and history from blood is relevant for complementing or replacing self-reports in epidemiological and public health research, and for forensic applications. However, a finite DNA methylation marker set and a validated statistical model based on a large dataset are not yet available. Employing 14 epigenome-wide association studies for marker discovery, and using data from six population-based cohorts (N = 3764) for model building, we identified 13 CpGs most suitable for inferring smoking versus non-smoking status from blood with a cumulative Area Under the Curve (AUC) of 0.901. Internal fivefold cross-validation yielded an average AUC of 0.897 ± 0.137, while external model validation in an independent population-based cohort (N = 1608) achieved an AUC of 0.911. These 13 CpGs also provided accurate inference of current (average AUC 0.925 ± 0.021, AUC0.914), former (0.766 ± 0.023, 0.699) and never smoking (0.830 ± 0.019, 0.781) status, allowed inferring pack-years in current smokers (10 pack-years 0.800 ± 0.068, 0.796; 15 pack-years 0.767 ± 0.102, 0.752) and inferring smoking cessation time in former smokers (5 years 0.774 ± 0.024, 0.760; 10 years 0.766 ± 0.033, 0.764; 15 years 0.767 ± 0.020, 0.754). Model application to children revealed highly accurate inference of the true non-smoking status (6 years of age: accuracy 0.994, N = 355; 10 years: 0.994, N = 309), suggesting prenatal and passive smoking exposure having no impact on model applications in adults. The finite set of DNA methylation markers allow accurate inference of smoking habit, with comparable accuracy as plasma cotinine use, and smoking history from blood, which we envision becoming useful in epidemiology and public health research, and in medical and forensic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10654-019-00555-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6861351PMC
November 2019

Fast LC-ESI-MS/MS analysis and influence of sampling conditions for gut metabolites in plasma and serum.

Sci Rep 2019 08 26;9(1):12370. Epub 2019 Aug 26.

Analytical Biosciences and Metabolomics, Division of Systems Biomedicine and Pharmacology, Leiden Academic Center for Drug Research, Leiden University, Leiden, 2333 CC, The Netherlands.

In the past few years, the gut microbiome has been shown to play an important role in various disorders including in particular cardiovascular diseases. Especially the metabolite trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), which is produced by gut microbial metabolism, has repeatedly been associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular events. Here we report a fast liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) method that can analyze the five most important gut metabolites with regards to TMAO in three minutes. Fast liquid chromatography is unconventionally used in this method as an on-line cleanup step to remove the most important ion suppressors leaving the gut metabolites in a cleaned flow through fraction, also known as negative chromatography. We compared different blood matrix types to recommend best sampling practices and found citrated plasma samples demonstrated lower concentrations for all analytes and choline concentrations were significantly higher in serum samples. We demonstrated the applicability of our method by investigating the effect of a standardized liquid meal (SLM) after overnight fasting of 25 healthy individuals on the gut metabolite levels. The SLM did not significantly change the levels of gut metabolites in serum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48876-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710273PMC
August 2019

A metabolic profile of all-cause mortality risk identified in an observational study of 44,168 individuals.

Nat Commun 2019 08 20;10(1):3346. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

Division of Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, PO Box 17, 6700 AA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

Predicting longer-term mortality risk requires collection of clinical data, which is often cumbersome. Therefore, we use a well-standardized metabolomics platform to identify metabolic predictors of long-term mortality in the circulation of 44,168 individuals (age at baseline 18-109), of whom 5512 died during follow-up. We apply a stepwise (forward-backward) procedure based on meta-analysis results and identify 14 circulating biomarkers independently associating with all-cause mortality. Overall, these associations are similar in men and women and across different age strata. We subsequently show that the prediction accuracy of 5- and 10-year mortality based on a model containing the identified biomarkers and sex (C-statistic = 0.837 and 0.830, respectively) is better than that of a model containing conventional risk factors for mortality (C-statistic = 0.772 and 0.790, respectively). The use of the identified metabolic profile as a predictor of mortality or surrogate endpoint in clinical studies needs further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11311-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6702196PMC
August 2019

A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies multiple longevity genes.

Nat Commun 2019 08 14;10(1):3669. Epub 2019 Aug 14.

Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, 5000, Odense C, Denmark.

Human longevity is heritable, but genome-wide association (GWA) studies have had limited success. Here, we perform two meta-analyses of GWA studies of a rigorous longevity phenotype definition including 11,262/3484 cases surviving at or beyond the age corresponding to the 90th/99th survival percentile, respectively, and 25,483 controls whose age at death or at last contact was at or below the age corresponding to the 60th survival percentile. Consistent with previous reports, rs429358 (apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε4) is associated with lower odds of surviving to the 90th and 99th percentile age, while rs7412 (ApoE ε2) shows the opposite. Moreover, rs7676745, located near GPR78, associates with lower odds of surviving to the 90th percentile age. Gene-level association analysis reveals a role for tissue-specific expression of multiple genes in longevity. Finally, genetic correlation of the longevity GWA results with that of several disease-related phenotypes points to a shared genetic architecture between health and longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-11558-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6694136PMC
August 2019

Metabolomics reveals a link between homocysteine and lipid metabolism and leukocyte telomere length: the ENGAGE consortium.

Sci Rep 2019 08 12;9(1):11623. Epub 2019 Aug 12.

Department of Biological Psychology, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Telomere shortening has been associated with multiple age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia. However, the biological mechanisms responsible for these associations remain largely unknown. In order to gain insight into the metabolic processes driving the association of leukocyte telomere length (LTL) with age-related diseases, we investigated the association between LTL and serum metabolite levels in 7,853 individuals from seven independent cohorts. LTL was determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and the levels of 131 serum metabolites were measured with mass spectrometry in biological samples from the same blood draw. With partial correlation analysis, we identified six metabolites that were significantly associated with LTL after adjustment for multiple testing: lysophosphatidylcholine acyl C17:0 (lysoPC a C17:0, p-value = 7.1 × 10), methionine (p-value = 9.2 × 10), tyrosine (p-value = 2.1 × 10), phosphatidylcholine diacyl C32:1 (PC aa C32:1, p-value = 2.4 × 10), hydroxypropionylcarnitine (C3-OH, p-value = 2.6 × 10), and phosphatidylcholine acyl-alkyl C38:4 (PC ae C38:4, p-value = 9.0 × 10). Pathway analysis showed that the three phosphatidylcholines and methionine are involved in homocysteine metabolism and we found supporting evidence for an association of lipid metabolism with LTL. In conclusion, we found longer LTL associated with higher levels of lysoPC a C17:0 and PC ae C38:4, and with lower levels of methionine, tyrosine, PC aa C32:1, and C3-OH. These metabolites have been implicated in inflammation, oxidative stress, homocysteine metabolism, and in cardiovascular disease and diabetes, two major drivers of morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-47282-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6690953PMC
August 2019

A genome-wide association study identifies genetic loci associated with specific lobar brain volumes.

Commun Biol 2019 2;2:285. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

17Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Statistical Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, 2333ZA the Netherlands.

Brain lobar volumes are heritable but genetic studies are limited. We performed genome-wide association studies of frontal, occipital, parietal and temporal lobe volumes in 16,016 individuals, and replicated our findings in 8,789 individuals. We identified six genetic loci associated with specific lobar volumes independent of intracranial volume. Two loci, associated with occipital (6q22.32) and temporal lobe volume (12q14.3), were previously reported to associate with intracranial and hippocampal volume, respectively. We identified four loci previously unknown to affect brain volumes: 3q24 for parietal lobe volume, and 1q22, 4p16.3 and 14q23.1 for occipital lobe volume. The associated variants were located in regions enriched for histone modifications ( and ), or close to genes causing Mendelian brain-related diseases ( and ). No genetic overlap between lobar volumes and neurological or psychiatric diseases was observed. Our findings reveal part of the complex genetics underlying brain development and suggest a role for regulatory regions in determining brain volumes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-019-0537-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6677735PMC
April 2020
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