White matter integrity as an intermediate phenotype: Exploratory genome-wide association analysis in individuals at high risk of bipolar disorder
ABSTRACT White matter integrity, as measured using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), is reduced in individuals with bipolar disorder (BD), their unaffected relatives and carriers of specific risk-alleles. Fractional anisotropy (FA), an index of white matter integrity, is highly heritable but the genetic architecture of this trait has received little investigation. In this study we performed a genome-wide association study with FA as quantitative phenotype, in unaffected relatives of patients with BD (N=70) and a matched control group (N=80). Amongst our top results were SNPs located in genes involved in cell adhesion, white matter development and neuronal plasticity. Pathway analysis of the top associated polymorphisms and genes confirmed the enrichment of processes relevant to BD and white matter development, including axon guidance, ErbB-signalling neurotrophin signalling, phosphatidylinositol signalling, and cell adhesion. The majority of genes implicated in these pathways were differentially associated with FA in individuals at high familial risk, suggesting interactions with genetic background or environmental factors secondary to familial risk for BD. Although the present findings require independent replication, the results encourage the use of global FA as a quantitative phenotype in future large-scale studies which may help to identify the biological processes underlying reduced FA in BD and other psychiatric disorders.
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ABSTRACT: This article reviews work published by the ENIGMA Consortium and its Working Groups (http://enigma.ini.usc.edu). It was written collaboratively; P.T. wrote the first draft and all listed authors revised and edited the document for important intellectual content, using Google Docs for parallel editing, and approved it. Some ENIGMA investigators contributed to the design and implementation of ENIGMA or provided data but did not participate in the analysis or writing of this report. A complete listing of ENIGMA investigators is available at http://enigma.ini.usc.edu/publications/the-enigma-consortium-in-review/ For ADNI, some investigators contributed to the design and implementation of ADNI or provided data but did not participate in the analysis or writing of this report. A complete listing of ADNI investigators is available at http://adni.loni.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/how_to_apply/ ADNI_Acknowledgement_List.pdf The work reviewed here was funded by a large number of federal and private agencies worldwide, listed in Stein et al. (2012); the funding for listed consortia is also itemized in Stein et al. (2012).Brain Imaging and Behavior 01/2014; DOI:10.1007/s11682-013-9269-5 · 3.39 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The ENIGMA (Enhancing NeuroImaging Genetics through Meta-Analysis) Consortium was set up to analyze brain measures and genotypes from multiple sites across the world to improve the power to detect genetic variants that influence the brain. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) yields quantitative measures sensitive to brain development and degeneration, and some common genetic variants may be associated with white matter integrity or connectivity. DTI measures, such as the fractional anisotropy (FA) of water diffusion, may be useful for identifying genetic variants that influence brain microstructure. However, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) require large populations to obtain sufficient power to detect and replicate significant effects, motivating a multi-site consortium effort. As part of an ENIGMA-DTI working group, we analyzed high-resolution FA images from multiple imaging sites across North America, Australia, and Europe, to address the challenge of harmonizing imaging data collected at multiple sites. Four hundred images of healthy adults aged 18-85 from four sites were used to create a template and corresponding skeletonized FA image as a common reference space. Using twin and pedigree samples of different ethnicities, we used our common template to evaluate the heritability of tract-derived FA measures. We show that our template is reliable for integrating multiple datasets by combining results through meta-analysis and unifying the data through exploratory mega-analyses. Our results may help prioritize regions of the FA map that are consistently influenced by additive genetic factors for future genetic discovery studies. Protocols and templates are publicly available at (http://enigma.loni.ucla.edu/ongoing/dti-working-group/).NeuroImage 04/2013; 81. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.04.061 · 6.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE Several lines of evidence indicate that white matter integrity is compromised in bipolar disorder, but the nature, extent, and biological causes remain elusive. To determine the extent to which white matter deficits in bipolar disorder are familial, the authors investigated white matter integrity in a large sample of bipolar patients, unaffected siblings, and healthy comparison subjects. METHOD The authors collected diffusion imaging data for 64 adult bipolar patients, 60 unaffected siblings (including 54 discordant sibling pairs), and 46 demographically matched comparison subjects. Fractional anisotropy was compared between the groups using voxel-wise tract-based spatial statistics and by extracting mean fractional anisotropy from 10 regions of interest. Additionally, intraclass correlation coefficients were calculated between the sibling pairs as an index of familiality. RESULTS Widespread fractional anisotropy reductions in bipolar patients (>40,000 voxels) and more subtle reductions in their siblings, mainly restricted to the corpus callosum, posterior thalamic radiations, and left superior longitudinal fasciculus (>2,000 voxels) were observed. Similarly, region-of-interest analysis revealed significant reductions in most white matter regions in patients. In siblings, fractional anisotropy in the posterior thalamic radiation and the forceps was nominally reduced. Significant between-sibling correlations were found for mean fractional anisotropy across the tract-based spatial statistic skeleton, within significant clusters, and within nearly all regions of interest. CONCLUSIONS These findings emphasize the relevance of white matter to neuropathology and familiality of bipolar disorder and encourage further use of white matter integrity markers as endophenotypes in genetic studies.American Journal of Psychiatry 11/2013; 170(11):1317-25. DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.2013.12111462 · 13.56 Impact Factor