Hippocampal development is coordinated by both extracellular factors like GABA neurotransmission and intracellular components like DISC1. We previously reported that SLC12A2-dependent GABA depolarization and DISC1 coregulate hippocampal neuronal development, and 2 SNPs in these genes linked to mRNA expression interactively increase schizophrenia risk. Using functional MRI, we now confirm this biological interaction in vivo by showing in 2 independent samples of healthy individuals (total N = 349) that subjects homozygous for both risk alleles evince dramatically decreased hippocampal area activation (Cohen's d = 0.78) and connectivity (d = 0.57) during a recognition memory task. These data highlight the importance of epistatic models in understanding genetic association with complex brain phenotypes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The origins of schizophrenia have eluded clinicians and researchers since Kraepelin and Bleuler began documenting their findings. However, large clinical research efforts in recent decades have identified numerous genetic and environmental risk factors for schizophrenia. The combined data strongly support the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia and underscore the importance of the common converging effects of diverse insults. In this review, we discuss the evidence that genetic and environmental risk factors that predispose to schizophrenia disrupt the development and normal functioning of the GABA-ergic system.Neuropsychopharmacology Reviews accepted article peview online, 24 April 2014. doi:10.1038/npp.2014.95.
Neuropsychopharmacology: official publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology 04/2014; 40(1). DOI:10.1038/npp.2014.95 · 7.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is a highly heritable disorder. Thus, the combination of genetics and brain imaging may be a useful strategy to investigate the effects of risk genes on anatomical connectivity, and for gene discovery, i.e. discovering the genetic correlates of white matter phenotypes. Following a database search, I review evidence for heritability of white matter phenotypes. I also review candidate gene investigations, examining association of putative risk variants with white matter phenotypes, as well as the recent flurry of research exploring relationships of genome-wide significant risk loci with white matter phenotypes. Finally, I review multivariate and polygene approaches, which constitute a new wave of imaging-genetics research, including large collaborative initiatives aiming to discover new genes that may predict aspects of white matter microstructure. The literature supports the heritability of white matter phenotypes. Loci in genes intimately implicated in oligodendrocyte and myelin development, growth and maintenance, and neurotrophic systems are associated with white matter microstructure. GWAS variants have not yet sufficiently been explored using DTI-based evaluation of white matter to draw conclusions, although micro-RNA 137 is promising due to its potential regulation of other GWAS schizophrenia genes. Many imaging-genetic studies only include healthy participants, which, while helping control for certain confounds, cannot address questions related to disease heterogeneity or symptom expression, and thus more studies should include participants with schizophrenia. With sufficiently large sample sizes, the future of this field lies in polygene strategies aimed at risk prediction and heterogeneity dissection of schizophrenia that can translate to personalized interventions.
Schizophrenia Research 05/2014; 161(1). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.03.034 · 3.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disrupted-In-Schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) has captured much attention because it predisposes individuals to a wide range of mental illnesses. Notably, a number of genes encoding proteins interacting with DISC1 are also considered to be relevant risk factors of mental disorders. We reasoned that the understanding of DISC1-associated mental disorders in the context of network principles will help to address fundamental properties of DISC1 as a disease gene. Systematic integration of behavioural phenotypes of genetic mouse lines carrying perturbation in DISC1 interacting proteins would contribute to a better resolution of neurobiological mechanisms of mental disorders associated with the impaired DISC1 interactome and lead to a development of network medicine. This review also makes specific recommendations of how to assess DISC1 associated mental disorders in mouse models and discuss future directions.
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