Publications by authors named "Myriam Fornage"

347 Publications

Transcriptome Profiling of Mouse Corpus Callosum After Cerebral Hypoperfusion.

Front Cell Dev Biol 2021 17;9:685261. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Neuroprotection Research Laboratory, Department of Radiology and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA, United States.

White matter damage caused by cerebral hypoperfusion is a major hallmark of subcortical ischemic vascular dementia (SIVD), which is the most common subtype of vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID) syndrome. In an aging society, the number of SIVD patients is expected to increase; however, effective therapies have yet to be developed. To understand the pathological mechanisms, we analyzed the profiles of the cells of the corpus callosum after cerebral hypoperfusion in a preclinical SIVD model. We prepared cerebral hypoperfused mice by subjecting 2-month old male C57BL/6J mice to bilateral carotid artery stenosis (BCAS) operation. BCAS-hypoperfusion mice exhibited cognitive deficits at 4 weeks after cerebral hypoperfusion, assessed by novel object recognition test. RNA samples from the corpus callosum region of sham- or BCAS-operated mice were then processed using RNA sequencing. A gene set enrichment analysis using differentially expressed genes between sham and BCAS-operated mice showed activation of oligodendrogenesis pathways along with angiogenic responses. This database of transcriptomic profiles of BCAS-hypoperfusion mice will be useful for future studies to find a therapeutic target for SIVD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcell.2021.685261DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8248229PMC
June 2021

Genome-wide association studies identify 137 genetic loci for DNA methylation biomarkers of aging.

Genome Biol 2021 Jun 29;22(1):194. Epub 2021 Jun 29.

Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

Background: Biological aging estimators derived from DNA methylation data are heritable and correlate with morbidity and mortality. Consequently, identification of genetic and environmental contributors to the variation in these measures in populations has become a major goal in the field.

Results: Leveraging DNA methylation and SNP data from more than 40,000 individuals, we identify 137 genome-wide significant loci, of which 113 are novel, from genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analyses of four epigenetic clocks and epigenetic surrogate markers for granulocyte proportions and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 levels, respectively. We find evidence for shared genetic loci associated with the Horvath clock and expression of transcripts encoding genes linked to lipid metabolism and immune function. Notably, these loci are independent of those reported to regulate DNA methylation levels at constituent clock CpGs. A polygenic score for GrimAge acceleration showed strong associations with adiposity-related traits, educational attainment, parental longevity, and C-reactive protein levels.

Conclusion: This study illuminates the genetic architecture underlying epigenetic aging and its shared genetic contributions with lifestyle factors and longevity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-021-02398-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8243879PMC
June 2021

A multi-ethnic epigenome-wide association study of leukocyte DNA methylation and blood lipids.

Nat Commun 2021 06 28;12(1):3987. Epub 2021 Jun 28.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Here we examine the association between DNA methylation in circulating leukocytes and blood lipids in a multi-ethnic sample of 16,265 subjects. We identify 148, 35, and 4 novel associations among Europeans, African Americans, and Hispanics, respectively, and an additional 186 novel associations through a trans-ethnic meta-analysis. We observe a high concordance in the direction of effects across racial/ethnic groups, a high correlation of effect sizes between high-density lipoprotein and triglycerides, a modest overlap of associations with epigenome-wide association studies of other cardio-metabolic traits, and a largely non-overlap with lipid loci identified to date through genome-wide association studies. Thirty CpGs reached significance in at least 2 racial/ethnic groups including 7 that showed association with the expression of an annotated gene. CpGs annotated to CPT1A showed evidence of being influenced by triglycerides levels. DNA methylation levels of circulating leukocytes show robust and consistent association with blood lipid levels across multiple racial/ethnic groups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-23899-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8238961PMC
June 2021

Cerebral Small-Vessel Disease in Individuals with a Family History of Coronary Heart Disease: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Neuroepidemiology 2021 17;55(4):316-322. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine (JHUSOM), Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Introduction: The degree to which a family history of coronary heart disease (FHCHD) is associated with silent cerebral small-vessel disease (cSVD) among healthy adults, independent of prevalent CHD and traditional risk factors, is unknown.

Methods: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study is a community-based cohort study with self-reported family history data and brain magnetic resonance imaging (ages 68-88). The association between markers of cSVD (lacunar infarcts and cerebral microbleeds), or log-transformed white matter hyperintensity (WMH) volume, and FHCHD, or the number of affected relatives was examined using separate adjusted logistic or linear regression models, respectively. Race interaction terms were evaluated.

Results: Of 1,639 participants without prevalent CHD (76 ± 5 years, 62% female, 29% black), 686 (42%) had FHCHD. There were higher odds of lacunar infarct (OR 1.40, 95% CI 1.07-1.84) among those with parental FHCHD and higher odds of microhemorrhages (lobar OR 1.86, 95% CI 1.13-3.06; subcortical OR 1.47, 95% CI 1.01-2.15) among those with sibling FHCHD. A greater number of any relative affected was associated with higher odds of lacunar infarct (OR 1.24, 95% CI 1.04-1.47) and lobar microhemorrhages (OR 1.31, 95% CI 1.05-1.64) but not subcortical microhemorrhages (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.92-1.28). Odds of having a lacunar infarct were higher among blacks (p-interaction 0.04) with paternal FHCHD (OR 2.20, CI 1.35-3.58) than whites with paternal FHCHD (OR 1.17, CI 0.87-1.56). There was no association with WMH.

Discussion/conclusion: Markers of cSVD, specifically lacunar infarcts and microhemorrhages, appear to be associated with FHCHD, potentially representing shared mechanisms in different vascular beds, and perhaps a genetic propensity for vascular disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000516428DOI Listing
June 2021

Common variants in Alzheimer's disease and risk stratification by polygenic risk scores.

Nat Commun 2021 06 7;12(1):3417. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Servei de Neurologia, Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, Valencia, Spain.

Genetic discoveries of Alzheimer's disease are the drivers of our understanding, and together with polygenetic risk stratification can contribute towards planning of feasible and efficient preventive and curative clinical trials. We first perform a large genetic association study by merging all available case-control datasets and by-proxy study results (discovery n = 409,435 and validation size n = 58,190). Here, we add six variants associated with Alzheimer's disease risk (near APP, CHRNE, PRKD3/NDUFAF7, PLCG2 and two exonic variants in the SHARPIN gene). Assessment of the polygenic risk score and stratifying by APOE reveal a 4 to 5.5 years difference in median age at onset of Alzheimer's disease patients in APOE ɛ4 carriers. Because of this study, the underlying mechanisms of APP can be studied to refine the amyloid cascade and the polygenic risk score provides a tool to select individuals at high risk of Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22491-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8184987PMC
June 2021

Metabolic Traits and Stroke Risk in Individuals of African Ancestry: Mendelian Randomization Analysis.

Stroke 2021 Aug 3;52(8):2680-2684. Epub 2021 Jun 3.

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Medical School Building, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College London, United Kingdom (V.K., M.-R.J., D.G.).

Background And Purpose: Metabolic traits affect ischemic stroke (IS) risk, but the degree to which this varies across different ethnic ancestries is not known. Our aim was to apply Mendelian randomization to investigate the causal effects of type 2 diabetes (T2D) liability and lipid traits on IS risk in African ancestry individuals, and to compare them to estimates obtained in European ancestry individuals.

Methods: For African ancestry individuals, genetic proxies for T2D liability and circulating lipids were obtained from a meta-analysis of the African Partnership for Chronic Disease Research study, the UK Biobank, and the Million Veteran Program (total N=77 061). Genetic association estimates for IS risk were obtained from the Consortium of Minority Population Genome-Wide Association Studies of Stroke (3734 cases and 18 317 controls). For European ancestry individuals, genetic proxies for the same metabolic traits were obtained from Million Veteran Program (lipids N=297 626, T2D N=148 726 cases, and 965 732 controls), and genetic association estimates for IS risk were obtained from the MEGASTROKE study (34 217 cases and 406 111 controls). Random-effects inverse-variance weighted Mendelian randomization was used as the main method, complemented with sensitivity analyses more robust to pleiotropy.

Results: Higher genetically proxied T2D liability, LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), total cholesterol and lower genetically proxied HDL-C (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) were associated with increased risk of IS in African ancestry individuals (odds ratio per doubling the odds of T2D liability [95% CI], 1.09 [1.07-1.11]; per standard-deviation increase in LDL-C, 1.12 [1.04-1.21]; total cholesterol: 1.23 [1.06-1.43]; HDL-C, 0.93 [0.89-0.99]). There was no evidence for differences in these estimates when performing analyses in European ancestry individuals.

Conclusions: Our analyses support a causal effect of T2D liability and lipid traits on IS risk in African ancestry individuals, with Mendelian randomization estimates similar to those obtained in European ancestry individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/STROKEAHA.121.034747DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8312569PMC
August 2021

Association between Circulating Protein C Levels and Incident Dementia: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Neuroepidemiology 2021 2;55(4):306-315. Epub 2021 Jun 2.

Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi, USA.

Introduction: Hemostasis depends on the delicate balance between coagulants and anticoagulants. Higher levels of circulating coagulants have been associated with higher risk of cerebral infarctions and dementia. In contrast, higher levels of circulating protein C, an endogenous anticoagulant, have been associated with lower risk of cerebral infarctions, and the association between protein C levels and the risk of dementia is unknown. The goal of this study was to evaluate the association of circulating protein C levels in midlife and late life with incident dementia.

Methods: Circulating protein C levels were measured using blood samples collected at the midlife baseline (1987-1989) and the late-life baseline (2011-2013) among 14,462 and 3,614 participants, respectively, in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study. Protein C levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay at midlife and a modified aptamer-based assay at late life. Participants were followed up to 2013 from midlife and up to 2017 from late life. Incident dementia was ascertained during the follow-up periods using in-person cognitive and functional assessment, informant interviews, and International Classification of Diseases codes at hospitalization discharge and on death certificates. Cause-specific Cox regression models were used to evaluate the association between quintiles of circulating protein C and incident dementia.

Results: From midlife (mean age of 54), 1,389 incident dementia events were observed over a median follow-up of 23 years. From late life (mean age of 75), 353 incident dementia events were observed over a median follow-up of 4.9 years. At both midlife and late life, circulating protein C had an inverse association with incident dementia after adjusting for demographic, vascular, and hemostatic risk factors, incident stroke as time-dependent covariate, and incorporating stabilized weights based on propensity scores (quintile 5 vs. quintile 1 as the reference, midlife hazard ratio 0.80, 95% confidence interval 0.66-0.96, p value for trend 0.04; late-life hazard ratio 0.84, 95% confidence interval: 0.55-1.28, p value for trend 0.04).

Discussion/conclusion: Circulating protein C has an inverse association with incident dementia independent of established risk factors, including stroke. Our results suggest studying anticoagulants in addition to coagulants can increase our understanding on the relationship between hemostasis and dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000516287DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8292178PMC
June 2021

Associations of circulating choline and its related metabolites with cardiometabolic biomarkers: an international pooled analysis.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 May 21. Epub 2021 May 21.

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt Epidemiology Center, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: Choline is an essential nutrient; however, the associations of choline and its related metabolites with cardiometabolic risk remain unclear.

Objective: We examined the associations of circulating choline, betaine, carnitine, and dimethylglycine (DMG) with cardiometabolic biomarkers and their potential dietary and nondietary determinants.

Methods: The cross-sectional analyses included 32,853 participants from 17 studies, who were free of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, chronic kidney diseases, and inflammatory bowel disease. In each study, metabolites and biomarkers were log-transformed and standardized by means and SDs, and linear regression coefficients (β) and 95% CIs were estimated with adjustments for potential confounders. Study-specific results were combined by random-effects meta-analyses. A false discovery rate <0.05 was considered significant.

Results: We observed moderate positive associations of circulating choline, carnitine, and DMG with creatinine [β (95% CI): 0.136 (0.084, 0.188), 0.106 (0.045, 0.168), and 0.128 (0.087, 0.169), respectively, for each SD increase in biomarkers on the log scale], carnitine with triglycerides (β = 0.076; 95% CI: 0.042, 0.109), homocysteine (β = 0.064; 95% CI: 0.033, 0.095), and LDL cholesterol (β = 0.055; 95% CI: 0.013, 0.096), DMG with homocysteine (β = 0.068; 95% CI: 0.023, 0.114), insulin (β = 0.068; 95% CI: 0.043, 0.093), and IL-6 (β = 0.060; 95% CI: 0.027, 0.094), but moderate inverse associations of betaine with triglycerides (β = -0.146; 95% CI: -0.188, -0.104), insulin (β = -0.106; 95% CI: -0.130, -0.082), homocysteine (β = -0.097; 95% CI: -0.149, -0.045), and total cholesterol (β = -0.074; 95% CI: -0.102, -0.047). In the whole pooled population, no dietary factor was associated with circulating choline; red meat intake was associated with circulating carnitine [β = 0.092 (0.042, 0.142) for a 1 serving/d increase], whereas plant protein was associated with circulating betaine [β = 0.249 (0.110, 0.388) for a 5% energy increase]. Demographics, lifestyle, and metabolic disease history showed differential associations with these metabolites.

Conclusions: Circulating choline, carnitine, and DMG were associated with unfavorable cardiometabolic risk profiles, whereas circulating betaine was associated with a favorable cardiometabolic risk profile. Future prospective studies are needed to examine the associations of these metabolites with incident cardiovascular events.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqab152DOI Listing
May 2021

Plasma amyloid β levels are driven by genetic variants near APOE, BACE1, APP, PSEN2: A genome-wide association study in over 12,000 non-demented participants.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 May 18. Epub 2021 May 18.

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.

Introduction: There is increasing interest in plasma amyloid beta (Aβ) as an endophenotype of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Identifying the genetic determinants of plasma Aβ levels may elucidate important biological processes that determine plasma Aβ measures.

Methods: We included 12,369 non-demented participants from eight population-based studies. Imputed genetic data and measured plasma Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42 levels and Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio were used to perform genome-wide association studies, and gene-based and pathway analyses. Significant variants and genes were followed up for their association with brain positron emission tomography Aβ deposition and AD risk.

Results: Single-variant analysis identified associations with apolipoprotein E (APOE) for Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio, and BACE1 for Aβ1-40. Gene-based analysis of Aβ1-40 additionally identified associations for APP, PSEN2, CCK, and ZNF397. There was suggestive evidence for interaction between a BACE1 variant and APOE ε4 on brain Aβ deposition.

Discussion: Identification of variants near/in known major Aβ-processing genes strengthens the relevance of plasma-Aβ levels as an endophenotype of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12333DOI Listing
May 2021

Epigenome-wide association meta-analysis of DNA methylation with coffee and tea consumption.

Nat Commun 2021 05 14;12(1):2830. Epub 2021 May 14.

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Coffee and tea are extensively consumed beverages worldwide which have received considerable attention regarding health. Intake of these beverages is consistently linked to, among others, reduced risk of diabetes and liver diseases; however, the mechanisms of action remain elusive. Epigenetics is suggested as a mechanism mediating the effects of dietary and lifestyle factors on disease onset. Here we report the results from epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) on coffee and tea consumption in 15,789 participants of European and African-American ancestries from 15 cohorts. EWAS meta-analysis of coffee consumption reveals 11 CpGs surpassing the epigenome-wide significance threshold (P-value <1.1×10), which annotated to the AHRR, F2RL3, FLJ43663, HDAC4, GFI1 and PHGDH genes. Among them, cg14476101 is significantly associated with expression of the PHGDH and risk of fatty liver disease. Knockdown of PHGDH expression in liver cells shows a correlation with expression levels of genes associated with circulating lipids, suggesting a role of PHGDH in hepatic-lipid metabolism. EWAS meta-analysis on tea consumption reveals no significant association, only two CpGs annotated to CACNA1A and PRDM16 genes show suggestive association (P-value <5.0×10). These findings indicate that coffee-associated changes in DNA methylation levels may explain the mechanism of action of coffee consumption in conferring risk of diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22752-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121846PMC
May 2021

Epigenetically mediated electrocardiographic manifestations of sub-chronic exposures to ambient particulate matter air pollution in the Women's Health Initiative and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.

Environ Res 2021 07 22;198:111211. Epub 2021 Apr 22.

Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA.

Background: Short-duration exposure to ambient particulate matter (PM) air pollution is associated with cardiac autonomic dysfunction and prolonged ventricular repolarization. However, associations with sub-chronic exposures to coarser particulates are relatively poorly characterized as are molecular mechanisms underlying their potential relationships with cardiovascular disease.

Materials And Methods: We estimated associations between monthly mean concentrations of PM < 10 μm and 2.5-10 μm in diameter (PM PM) with time-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV) and QT interval duration (QT) among U.S. women and men in the Women's Health Initiative and Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study (n = 82,107; n = 76,711). Then we examined mediation of the PM-HRV and PM-QT associations by DNA methylation (DNAm) at three Cytosine-phosphate-Guanine (CpG) sites (cg19004594, cg24102420, cg12124767) with known sensitivity to monthly mean PM concentrations in a subset of the participants (n = 7,169; n = 6,895). After multiply imputing missing PM, electrocardiographic and covariable data, we estimated associations using attrition-weighted, linear, mixed, longitudinal models adjusting for sociodemographic, behavioral, meteorological, and clinical characteristics. We assessed mediation by estimating the proportions of PM-HRV and PM-QT associations mediated by DNAm.

Results: We found little evidence of PM-HRV association, PM-QT association, or mediation by DNAm.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that among racially/ethnically and environmentally diverse U.S. populations, sub-chronic exposures to coarser particulates may not exert appreciable, epigenetically mediated effects on cardiac autonomic function or ventricular repolarization. Further investigation in better-powered studies is warranted, with additional focus on shorter duration exposures to finer particulates and non-electrocardiographic outcomes among relatively susceptible populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2021.111211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8179344PMC
July 2021

Whole-genome sequencing association analysis of quantitative red blood cell phenotypes: The NHLBI TOPMed program.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 05 21;108(5):874-893. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.

Whole-genome sequencing (WGS), a powerful tool for detecting novel coding and non-coding disease-causing variants, has largely been applied to clinical diagnosis of inherited disorders. Here we leveraged WGS data in up to 62,653 ethnically diverse participants from the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) program and assessed statistical association of variants with seven red blood cell (RBC) quantitative traits. We discovered 14 single variant-RBC trait associations at 12 genomic loci, which have not been reported previously. Several of the RBC trait-variant associations (RPN1, ELL2, MIDN, HBB, HBA1, PIEZO1, and G6PD) were replicated in independent GWAS datasets imputed to the TOPMed reference panel. Most of these discovered variants are rare/low frequency, and several are observed disproportionately among non-European Ancestry (African, Hispanic/Latino, or East Asian) populations. We identified a 3 bp indel p.Lys2169del (g.88717175_88717177TCT[4]) (common only in the Ashkenazi Jewish population) of PIEZO1, a gene responsible for the Mendelian red cell disorder hereditary xerocytosis (MIM: 194380), associated with higher mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC). In stepwise conditional analysis and in gene-based rare variant aggregated association analysis, we identified several of the variants in HBB, HBA1, TMPRSS6, and G6PD that represent the carrier state for known coding, promoter, or splice site loss-of-function variants that cause inherited RBC disorders. Finally, we applied base and nuclease editing to demonstrate that the sentinel variant rs112097551 (nearest gene RPN1) acts through a cis-regulatory element that exerts long-range control of the gene RUVBL1 which is essential for hematopoiesis. Together, these results demonstrate the utility of WGS in ethnically diverse population-based samples and gene editing for expanding knowledge of the genetic architecture of quantitative hematologic traits and suggest a continuum between complex trait and Mendelian red cell disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.04.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8206199PMC
May 2021

The copy number variation and stroke (CaNVAS) risk and outcome study.

PLoS One 2021 19;16(4):e0248791. Epub 2021 Apr 19.

University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States of America.

Background And Purpose: The role of copy number variation (CNV) variation in stroke susceptibility and outcome has yet to be explored. The Copy Number Variation and Stroke (CaNVAS) Risk and Outcome study addresses this knowledge gap.

Methods: Over 24,500 well-phenotyped IS cases, including IS subtypes, and over 43,500 controls have been identified, all with readily available genotyping on GWAS and exome arrays, with case measures of stroke outcome. To evaluate CNV-associated stroke risk and stroke outcome it is planned to: 1) perform Risk Discovery using several analytic approaches to identify CNVs that are associated with the risk of IS and its subtypes, across the age-, sex- and ethnicity-spectrums; 2) perform Risk Replication and Extension to determine whether the identified stroke-associated CNVs replicate in other ethnically diverse datasets and use biomarker data (e.g. methylation, proteomic, RNA, miRNA, etc.) to evaluate how the identified CNVs exert their effects on stroke risk, and lastly; 3) perform outcome-based Replication and Extension analyses of recent findings demonstrating an inverse relationship between CNV burden and stroke outcome at 3 months (mRS), and then determine the key CNV drivers responsible for these associations using existing biomarker data.

Results: The results of an initial CNV evaluation of 50 samples from each participating dataset are presented demonstrating that the existing GWAS and exome chip data are excellent for the planned CNV analyses. Further, some samples will require additional considerations for analysis, however such samples can readily be identified, as demonstrated by a sample demonstrating clonal mosaicism.

Conclusion: The CaNVAS study will cost-effectively leverage the numerous advantages of using existing case-control data sets, exploring the relationships between CNV and IS and its subtypes, and outcome at 3 months, in both men and women, in those of African and European-Caucasian descent, this, across the entire adult-age spectrum.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248791PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8055008PMC
April 2021

A System for Phenotype Harmonization in the NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Program.

Am J Epidemiol 2021 Apr 16. Epub 2021 Apr 16.

Cardiovascular Health Research Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

Genotype-phenotype association studies often combine phenotype data from multiple studies to increase power. Harmonization of the data usually requires substantial effort due to heterogeneity in phenotype definitions, study design, data collection procedures, and data set organization. Here we describe a centralized system for phenotype harmonization that includes input from phenotype domain and study experts, quality control, documentation, reproducible results, and data sharing mechanisms. This system was developed for the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine program, which is generating genomic and other omics data for >80 studies with extensive phenotype data. To date, 63 phenotypes have been harmonized across thousands of participants from up to 17 studies per phenotype (participants recruited 1948-2012). We discuss challenges in this undertaking and how they were addressed. The harmonized phenotype data and associated documentation have been submitted to National Institutes of Health data repositories for controlled-access by the scientific community. We also provide materials to facilitate future harmonization efforts by the community, which include (1) the code used to generate the 63 harmonized phenotypes, enabling others to reproduce, modify or extend these harmonizations to additional studies; and (2) results of labeling thousands of phenotype variables with controlled vocabulary terms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwab115DOI Listing
April 2021

Multi-ancestry genome-wide gene-sleep interactions identify novel loci for blood pressure.

Mol Psychiatry 2021 Apr 15. Epub 2021 Apr 15.

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

Long and short sleep duration are associated with elevated blood pressure (BP), possibly through effects on molecular pathways that influence neuroendocrine and vascular systems. To gain new insights into the genetic basis of sleep-related BP variation, we performed genome-wide gene by short or long sleep duration interaction analyses on four BP traits (systolic BP, diastolic BP, mean arterial pressure, and pulse pressure) across five ancestry groups in two stages using 2 degree of freedom (df) joint test followed by 1df test of interaction effects. Primary multi-ancestry analysis in 62,969 individuals in stage 1 identified three novel gene by sleep interactions that were replicated in an additional 59,296 individuals in stage 2 (stage 1 + 2 P < 5 × 10), including rs7955964 (FIGNL2/ANKRD33) that increases BP among long sleepers, and rs73493041 (SNORA26/C9orf170) and rs10406644 (KCTD15/LSM14A) that increase BP among short sleepers (P < 5 × 10). Secondary ancestry-specific analysis identified another novel gene by long sleep interaction at rs111887471 (TRPC3/KIAA1109) in individuals of African ancestry (P = 2 × 10). Combined stage 1 and 2 analyses additionally identified significant gene by long sleep interactions at 10 loci including MKLN1 and RGL3/ELAVL3 previously associated with BP, and significant gene by short sleep interactions at 10 loci including C2orf43 previously associated with BP (P < 10). 2df test also identified novel loci for BP after modeling sleep that has known functions in sleep-wake regulation, nervous and cardiometabolic systems. This study indicates that sleep and primary mechanisms regulating BP may interact to elevate BP level, suggesting novel insights into sleep-related BP regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01087-0DOI Listing
April 2021

Chromosome Xq23 is associated with lower atherogenic lipid concentrations and favorable cardiometabolic indices.

Nat Commun 2021 04 12;12(1):2182. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Division of Cardiology, George Washington University School of Medicine and Healthcare Sciences, Washington, DC, USA.

Autosomal genetic analyses of blood lipids have yielded key insights for coronary heart disease (CHD). However, X chromosome genetic variation is understudied for blood lipids in large sample sizes. We now analyze genetic and blood lipid data in a high-coverage whole X chromosome sequencing study of 65,322 multi-ancestry participants and perform replication among 456,893 European participants. Common alleles on chromosome Xq23 are strongly associated with reduced total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (min P = 8.5 × 10), with similar effects for males and females. Chromosome Xq23 lipid-lowering alleles are associated with reduced odds for CHD among 42,545 cases and 591,247 controls (P = 1.7 × 10), and reduced odds for diabetes mellitus type 2 among 54,095 cases and 573,885 controls (P = 1.4 × 10). Although we observe an association with increased BMI, waist-to-hip ratio adjusted for BMI is reduced, bioimpedance analyses indicate increased gluteofemoral fat, and abdominal MRI analyses indicate reduced visceral adiposity. Co-localization analyses strongly correlate increased CHRDL1 gene expression, particularly in adipose tissue, with reduced concentrations of blood lipids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22339-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8042019PMC
April 2021

Multiomics integrative analysis identifies allele-specific blood biomarkers associated to Alzheimer's disease etiopathogenesis.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 Apr 12;13(7):9277-9329. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, currently affecting 35 million people worldwide. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is the major risk factor for sporadic, late-onset AD (LOAD), which comprises over 95% of AD cases, increasing the risk of AD 4-12 fold. Despite this, the role of APOE in AD pathogenesis is still a mystery. Aiming for a better understanding of APOE-specific effects, the ADAPTED consortium analysed and integrated publicly available data of multiple OMICS technologies from both plasma and brain stratified by haplotype ( and ). Combining genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with differential mRNA and protein expression analyses and single-nuclei transcriptomics, we identified genes and pathways contributing to AD in both APOE dependent and independent fashion. Interestingly, we characterised a set of biomarkers showing plasma and brain consistent protein profiles and opposite trends in and AD cases that could constitute screening tools for a disease that lacks specific blood biomarkers. Beside the identification of APOE-specific signatures, our findings advocate that this novel approach, based on the concordance across OMIC layers and tissues, is an effective strategy for overcoming the limitations of often underpowered single-OMICS studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202950DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8064208PMC
April 2021

Circulating trimethylamine N-oxide in association with diet and cardiometabolic biomarkers: an international pooled analysis.

Am J Clin Nutr 2021 05;113(5):1145-1156

Division of Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, USA.

Background: Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a diet-derived, gut microbial-host cometabolite, has been linked to cardiometabolic diseases. However, the relations remain unclear between diet, TMAO, and cardiometabolic health in general populations from different regions and ethnicities.

Objectives: To examine associations of circulating TMAO with dietary and cardiometabolic factors in a pooled analysis of 16 population-based studies from the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Methods: Included were 32,166 adults (16,269 white, 13,293 Asian, 1247 Hispanic/Latino, 1236 black, and 121 others) without cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, or inflammatory bowel disease. Linear regression coefficients (β) were computed for standardized TMAO with harmonized variables. Study-specific results were combined by random-effects meta-analysis. A false discovery rate <0.10 was considered significant.

Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, circulating TMAO was associated with intakes of animal protein and saturated fat (β = 0.124 and 0.058, respectively, for a 5% energy increase) and with shellfish, total fish, eggs, and red meat (β = 0.370, 0.151, 0.081, and 0.056, respectively, for a 1 serving/d increase). Plant protein and nuts showed inverse associations (β = -0.126 for a 5% energy increase from plant protein and -0.123 for a 1 serving/d increase of nuts). Although the animal protein-TMAO association was consistent across populations, fish and shellfish associations were stronger in Asians (β = 0.285 and 0.578), and egg and red meat associations were more prominent in Americans (β = 0.153 and 0.093). Besides, circulating TMAO was positively associated with creatinine (β = 0.131 SD increase in log-TMAO), homocysteine (β = 0.065), insulin (β = 0.048), glycated hemoglobin (β = 0.048), and glucose (β = 0.023), whereas it was inversely associated with HDL cholesterol (β = -0.047) and blood pressure (β = -0.030). Each TMAO-biomarker association remained significant after further adjusting for creatinine and was robust in subgroup/sensitivity analyses.

Conclusions: In an international, consortium-based study, animal protein was consistently associated with increased circulating TMAO, whereas TMAO associations with fish, shellfish, eggs, and red meat varied among populations. The adverse associations of TMAO with certain cardiometabolic biomarkers, independent of renal function, warrant further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqaa430DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8106754PMC
May 2021

Discovery and fine-mapping of height loci via high-density imputation of GWASs in individuals of African ancestry.

Am J Hum Genet 2021 04 12;108(4):564-582. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

The Charles R. Bronfman Institute for Personalized Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY 10029, USA.

Although many loci have been associated with height in European ancestry populations, very few have been identified in African ancestry individuals. Furthermore, many of the known loci have yet to be generalized to and fine-mapped within a large-scale African ancestry sample. We performed sex-combined and sex-stratified meta-analyses in up to 52,764 individuals with height and genome-wide genotyping data from the African Ancestry Anthropometry Genetics Consortium (AAAGC). We additionally combined our African ancestry meta-analysis results with published European genome-wide association study (GWAS) data. In the African ancestry analyses, we identified three novel loci (SLC4A3, NCOA2, ECD/FAM149B1) in sex-combined results and two loci (CRB1, KLF6) in women only. In the African plus European sex-combined GWAS, we identified an additional three novel loci (RCCD1, G6PC3, CEP95) which were equally driven by AAAGC and European results. Among 39 genome-wide significant signals at known loci, conditioning index SNPs from European studies identified 20 secondary signals. Two of the 20 new secondary signals and none of the 8 novel loci had minor allele frequencies (MAF) < 5%. Of 802 known European height signals, 643 displayed directionally consistent associations with height, of which 205 were nominally significant (p < 0.05) in the African ancestry sex-combined sample. Furthermore, 148 of 241 loci contained ≤20 variants in the credible sets that jointly account for 99% of the posterior probability of driving the associations. In summary, trans-ethnic meta-analyses revealed novel signals and further improved fine-mapping of putative causal variants in loci shared between African and European ancestry populations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2021.02.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8059339PMC
April 2021

Common Medications and Intracerebral Hemorrhage: The ARIC Study.

J Am Heart Assoc 2021 Feb 15;10(5):e014270. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Department of Neurology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Baltimore MD.

Background Antiplatelets, anticoagulants, and statins are commonly prescribed for various indications. The associations between these medications and the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) and cerebral microbleeds (CMBs) are unclear. Methods and Results We performed a retrospective study of the ARIC (Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities) study cohort, recruited from 4 US communities in 1987 to 1989 with follow-up. In 2011 to 2013, a subset (N=1942) underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging with CMB evaluation. Time-varying and any antiplatelet, anticoagulant, or statin use was evaluated at subsequent study visits in participants not on each medication at baseline. To determine the hazard of ICH and odds of CMB by medication use, logistic and Cox proportional hazard models were built, respectively, adjusting for the propensity to take the medication, concomitant use of other medications, and cognitive, genetic, and radiographic data. Of 15 719 individuals during up to 20 years of follow-up, 130 participants experienced an ICH. The adjusted hazard of ICH was significantly lower among participants taking an antiplatelet at the most recent study visit before ICH versus nonusers (hazard ratio [HR], 0.53; 95% CI, 0.30-0.92). Statin users had a significantly lower hazard of an ICH compared with nonusers (adjusted HR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.05-0.34). There was no association of CMB and antiplatelet, anticoagulant, or statin use in adjusted models. Conclusions In this US community-based study, antiplatelet and statin use were associated with lower ICH hazard, whereas no association was noted between CMBs and antiplatelets, anticoagulants, and statins. Further study is needed to understand the differential roles of these medications in cerebral microhemorrhages and macrohemorrhages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.120.014270DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8174245PMC
February 2021

Sequencing of 53,831 diverse genomes from the NHLBI TOPMed Program.

Nature 2021 02 10;590(7845):290-299. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

The Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) programme seeks to elucidate the genetic architecture and biology of heart, lung, blood and sleep disorders, with the ultimate goal of improving diagnosis, treatment and prevention of these diseases. The initial phases of the programme focused on whole-genome sequencing of individuals with rich phenotypic data and diverse backgrounds. Here we describe the TOPMed goals and design as well as the available resources and early insights obtained from the sequence data. The resources include a variant browser, a genotype imputation server, and genomic and phenotypic data that are available through dbGaP (Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes). In the first 53,831 TOPMed samples, we detected more than 400 million single-nucleotide and insertion or deletion variants after alignment with the reference genome. Additional previously undescribed variants were detected through assembly of unmapped reads and customized analysis in highly variable loci. Among the more than 400 million detected variants, 97% have frequencies of less than 1% and 46% are singletons that are present in only one individual (53% among unrelated individuals). These rare variants provide insights into mutational processes and recent human evolutionary history. The extensive catalogue of genetic variation in TOPMed studies provides unique opportunities for exploring the contributions of rare and noncoding sequence variants to phenotypic variation. Furthermore, combining TOPMed haplotypes with modern imputation methods improves the power and reach of genome-wide association studies to include variants down to a frequency of approximately 0.01%.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03205-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7875770PMC
February 2021

MarkVCID cerebral small vessel consortium: I. Enrollment, clinical, fluid protocols.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 04 21;17(4):704-715. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Alzheimer's Clinical and Translational Research Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

The concept of vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID) derives from more than two decades of research indicating that (1) most older individuals with cognitive impairment have post mortem evidence of multiple contributing pathologies and (2) along with the preeminent role of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology, cerebrovascular disease accounts for a substantial proportion of this contribution. Contributing cerebrovascular processes include both overt strokes caused by etiologies such as large vessel occlusion, cardioembolism, and embolic infarcts of unknown source, and frequently asymptomatic brain injuries caused by diseases of the small cerebral vessels. Cerebral small vessel diseases such as arteriolosclerosis and cerebral amyloid angiopathy, when present at moderate or greater pathologic severity, are independently associated with worse cognitive performance and greater likelihood of dementia, particularly in combination with AD and other neurodegenerative pathologies. Based on this evidence, the US National Alzheimer's Project Act explicitly authorized accelerated research in vascular and mixed dementia along with frontotemporal and Lewy body dementia and AD itself. Biomarker development has been consistently identified as a key step toward translating scientific advances in VCID into effective prevention and treatment strategies. Validated biomarkers can serve a range of purposes in trials of candidate interventions, including (1) identifying individuals at increased VCID risk, (2) diagnosing the presence of cerebral small vessel disease or specific small vessel pathologies, (3) stratifying study participants according to their prognosis for VCID progression or treatment response, (4) demonstrating an intervention's target engagement or pharmacodynamic mechanism of action, and (5) monitoring disease progression during treatment. Effective biomarkers allow academic and industry investigators to advance promising interventions at early stages of development and discard interventions with low success likelihood. The MarkVCID consortium was formed in 2016 with the goal of developing and validating fluid- and imaging-based biomarkers for the cerebral small vessel diseases associated with VCID. MarkVCID consists of seven project sites and a central coordinating center, working with the National Institute of Neurologic Diseases and Stroke and National Institute on Aging under cooperative agreements. Through an internal selection process, MarkVCID has identified a panel of 11 candidate biomarker "kits" (consisting of the biomarker measure and the clinical and cognitive data used to validate it) and established a range of harmonized procedures and protocols for participant enrollment, clinical and cognitive evaluation, collection and handling of fluid samples, acquisition of neuroimaging studies, and biomarker validation. The overarching goal of these protocols is to generate rigorous validating data that could be used by investigators throughout the research community in selecting and applying biomarkers to multi-site VCID trials. Key features of MarkVCID participant enrollment, clinical/cognitive testing, and fluid biomarker procedures are summarized here, with full details in the following text, tables, and supplemental material, and a description of the MarkVCID imaging biomarker procedures in a companion paper, "MarkVCID Cerebral small vessel consortium: II. Neuroimaging protocols." The procedures described here address a range of challenges in MarkVCID's design, notably: (1) acquiring all data under informed consent and enrollment procedures that allow unlimited sharing and open-ended analyses without compromising participant privacy rights; (2) acquiring the data in a sufficiently wide range of study participants to allow assessment of candidate biomarkers across the various patient groups who might ultimately be targeted in VCID clinical trials; (3) defining a common dataset of clinical and cognitive elements that contains all the key outcome markers and covariates for VCID studies and is realistically obtainable during a practical study visit; (4) instituting best fluid-handling practices for minimizing avoidable sources of variability; and (5) establishing rigorous procedures for testing the reliability of candidate fluid-based biomarkers across replicates, assay runs, sites, and time intervals (collectively defined as the biomarker's instrumental validity). Participant Enrollment Project sites enroll diverse study cohorts using site-specific inclusion and exclusion criteria so as to provide generalizable validation data across a range of cognitive statuses, risk factor profiles, small vessel disease severities, and racial/ethnic characteristics representative of the diverse patient groups that might be enrolled in a future VCID trial. MarkVCID project sites include both prospectively enrolling centers and centers providing extant data and samples from preexisting community- and population-based studies. With approval of local institutional review boards, all sites incorporate MarkVCID consensus language into their study documents and informed consent agreements. The consensus language asks prospectively enrolled participants to consent to unrestricted access to their data and samples for research analysis within and outside MarkVCID. The data are transferred and stored as a de-identified dataset as defined by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule. Similar human subject protection and informed consent language serve as the basis for MarkVCID Research Agreements that act as contracts and data/biospecimen sharing agreements across the consortium. Clinical and Cognitive Data Clinical and cognitive data are collected across prospectively enrolling project sites using common MarkVCID instruments. The clinical data elements are modified from study protocols already in use such as the Alzheimer's Disease Center program Uniform Data Set Version 3 (UDS3), with additional focus on VCID-related items such as prior stroke and cardiovascular disease, vascular risk factors, focal neurologic findings, and blood testing for vascular risk markers and kidney function including hemoglobin A1c, cholesterol subtypes, triglycerides, and creatinine. Cognitive assessments and rating instruments include the Clinical Dementia Rating Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale, and most of the UDS3 neuropsychological battery. The cognitive testing requires ≈60 to 90 minutes. Study staff at the prospectively recruiting sites undergo formalized training in all measures and review of their first three UDS3 administrations by the coordinating center. Collection and Handling of Fluid Samples Fluid sample types collected for MarkVCID biomarker kits are serum, ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid-plasma, platelet-poor plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) with additional collection of packed cells to allow future DNA extraction and analyses. MarkVCID fluid guidelines to minimize variability include fasting morning fluid collections, rapid processing, standardized handling and storage, and avoidance of CSF contact with polystyrene. Instrumental Validation for Fluid-Based Biomarkers Instrumental validation of MarkVCID fluid-based biomarkers is operationally defined as determination of intra-plate and inter-plate repeatability, inter-site reproducibility, and test-retest repeatability. MarkVCID study participants both with and without advanced small vessel disease are selected for these determinations to assess instrumental validity across the full biomarker assay range. Intra- and inter-plate repeatability is determined by repeat assays of single split fluid samples performed at individual sites. Inter-site reproducibility is determined by assays of split samples distributed to multiple sites. Test-retest repeatability is determined by assay of three samples acquired from the same individual, collected at least 5 days apart over a 30-day period and assayed on a single plate. The MarkVCID protocols are designed to allow direct translation of the biomarker validation results to multicenter trials. They also provide a template for outside groups to perform analyses using identical methods and therefore allow direct comparison of results across studies and centers. All MarkVCID protocols are available to the biomedical community and intended to be shared. In addition to the instrumental validation procedures described here, each of the MarkVCID kits will undergo biological validation to determine whether the candidate biomarker measures important aspects of VCID such as cognitive function. Analytic methods and results of these validation studies for the 11 MarkVCID biomarker kits will be published separately. The results of this rigorous validation process will ultimately determine each kit's potential usefulness for multicenter interventional trials aimed at preventing or treating small vessel disease related VCID.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12215DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8122220PMC
April 2021

Large-scale association analyses identify host factors influencing human gut microbiome composition.

Nat Genet 2021 02 18;53(2):156-165. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, UK.

To study the effect of host genetics on gut microbiome composition, the MiBioGen consortium curated and analyzed genome-wide genotypes and 16S fecal microbiome data from 18,340 individuals (24 cohorts). Microbial composition showed high variability across cohorts: only 9 of 410 genera were detected in more than 95% of samples. A genome-wide association study of host genetic variation regarding microbial taxa identified 31 loci affecting the microbiome at a genome-wide significant (P < 5 × 10) threshold. One locus, the lactase (LCT) gene locus, reached study-wide significance (genome-wide association study signal: P = 1.28 × 10), and it showed an age-dependent association with Bifidobacterium abundance. Other associations were suggestive (1.95 × 10 < P < 5 × 10) but enriched for taxa showing high heritability and for genes expressed in the intestine and brain. A phenome-wide association study and Mendelian randomization identified enrichment of microbiome trait loci in the metabolic, nutrition and environment domains and suggested the microbiome might have causal effects in ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-020-00763-1DOI Listing
February 2021

A Mendelian randomization of γ' and total fibrinogen levels in relation to venous thromboembolism and ischemic stroke.

Blood 2020 12;136(26):3062-3069

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX.

Fibrinogen is a key component of the coagulation cascade, and variation in its circulating levels may contribute to thrombotic diseases, such as venous thromboembolism (VTE) and ischemic stroke. Gamma prime (γ') fibrinogen is an isoform of fibrinogen that has anticoagulant properties. We applied 2-sample Mendelian randomization (MR) to estimate the causal effect of total circulating fibrinogen and its isoform, γ' fibrinogen, on risk of VTE and ischemic stroke subtypes using summary statistics from genome-wide association studies. Genetic instruments for γ' fibrinogen and total fibrinogen were selected, and the inverse-variance weighted MR approach was used to estimate causal effects in the main analysis, complemented by sensitivity analyses that are more robust to the inclusion of pleiotropic variants, including MR-Egger, weighted median MR, and weighted mode MR. The main inverse-variance weighted MR estimates based on a combination of 16 genetic instruments for γ' fibrinogen and 75 genetic instruments for total fibrinogen indicated a protective effect of higher γ' fibrinogen and higher total fibrinogen on VTE risk. There was also a protective effect of higher γ' fibrinogen levels on cardioembolic and large artery stroke risk. Effect estimates were consistent across sensitivity analyses. Our results provide evidence to support effects of genetically determined γ' fibrinogen on VTE and ischemic stroke risk. Further research is needed to explore mechanisms underlying these effects and their clinical applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood.2019004781DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7770565PMC
December 2020

Association of the V122I Transthyretin Amyloidosis Genetic Variant With Cardiac Structure and Function in Middle-aged Black Adults: Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study.

JAMA Cardiol 2020 Dec 23. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Division of Cardiology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

Importance: The variant V122I is commonly enriched in the transthyretin (TTR) gene in individuals of African ancestry and associated with greater risk of heart failure (HF) in older adulthood, after age 65 years. Prevention of HF may be most effective earlier in life, but whether screening with echocardiography can identify subclinical cardiac abnormalities during middle age to risk-stratify individuals appears to be unknown.

Objective: To examine the association between the V122I TTR variant and cardiac structure and function during middle age in those without prevalent HF.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This serial cross-sectional study of 875 Black participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort was conducted at 4 urban sites across the US. Recruiting was completed in 1985-1986, and follow-up examinations occurred 25 and 30 years later. A subset of Black adults from the CARDIA cohort who underwent TTR genotyping was included. Data analysis was completed from January 2020 to October 2020.

Exposures: The V122I TTR genotype.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Echocardiographic left ventricular (LV) circumferential and longitudinal systolic strain and LV structure, measured at years 25 and 30 of follow-up. The analyses were adjusted for age, sex, echocardiography quality, genetic ancestry, and field center.

Results: Among the 875 Black adults (mean [SD] age, 49.4 [3.8] years at year 25; 543 women [62.1%]), there were 31 individuals who were heterozygous and 1 who was homozygous for the V122I TTR variant. Of the adults who had an echocardiogram at year 25, rates of hypertension (312 [46%]), diabetes (102 [15%]), and current smoking (128 [19%]) were not significantly different between those who did and did not carry V122I TTR. At year 25, there was no difference in LV circumferential strain, longitudinal strain, or LV structure between those who did vs did not carry V122I TTR. At year 30, those who carried V122I TTR had significantly lower absolute LV circumferential strain (mean [SD], 12.4 [4.2] percentage units) compared with those who did not carry the variant (mean [SD], 14.5 [3.7] percentage units). Those who carried V122I TTR also had significantly higher LV mass index values (mean [SD], 97.5 [34.1] g/m2) compared with those who did not (mean [SD], 83.7 [22.6] g/m2) at year 30.

Conclusions And Relevance: Carrier status for the V122I TTR variant is associated with subclinical cardiac abnormalities in middle age (worse LV systolic function and higher LV mass) that have been associated with increased risk of incident HF. Midlife screening of individuals who carry V122I TTR with echocardiography may prognosticate risk of symptomatic HF and inform prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamacardio.2020.6623DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7758832PMC
December 2020

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
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