Genes, maternal smoking, and the offspring brain and body during adolescence: design of the Saguenay Youth Study.
ABSTRACT The search for genes of complex traits is aided by the availability of multiple quantitative phenotypes collected in geographically isolated populations. Here we provide rationale for a large-scale study of gene-environment interactions influencing brain and behavior and cardiovascular and metabolic health in adolescence, namely the Saguenay Youth Study (SYS). The SYS is a retrospective study of long-term consequences of prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking (PEMCS) in which multiple quantitative phenotypes are acquired over five sessions (telephone interview, home, hospital, laboratory, and school). To facilitate the search for genes that modify an individual's response to an in utero environment (i.e. PEMCS), the study is family-based (adolescent sibships) and is carried out in a relatively geographically isolated population of the Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean (SLSJ) region in Quebec, Canada. DNA is acquired in both biological parents and in adolescent siblings. A genome-wide scan will be carried out with sib-pair linkage analyses, and fine mapping of identified loci will be done with family-based association analyses. Adolescent sibships (12-18 years of age; two or more siblings per family) are recruited in high schools throughout the SLSJ region; only children of French-Canadian origin are included. Based on a telephone interview, potential participants are classified as exposed or nonexposed prenatally to maternal cigarette smoking; the two groups are matched for the level of maternal education and the attended school. A total of 500 adolescent participants in each group will be recruited and phenotyped. The following types of datasets are collected in all adolescent participants: (1) magnetic resonance images of brain, abdominal fat, and kidneys, (2) standardized and computer-based neuropsychological tests, (3) hospital-based cardiovascular, body-composition and metabolic assessments, and (4) questionnaire-derived measures (e.g. life habits such as eating and physical activity; drug, alcohol use and delinquency; psychiatric symptoms; personality; home and school environment; academic and vocational attitudes). Parents complete a medical questionnaire, home-environment questionnaire, a handedness questionnaire, and a questionnaire about their current alcohol and drug use, depression, anxiety, and current and past antisocial behavior. To date, we have fully phenotyped a total of 408 adolescent participants. Here we provide the description of the SYS and, using the initial sample, we present information on ascertainment, demographics of the exposed and nonexposed adolescents and their parents, and the initial MRI-based assessment of familiality in the brain size and the volumes of grey and white matter.
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ABSTRACT: Adolescents who exhibit exaggerated blood pressure (BP) reactivity to physical and mental challenges are at increased risk of developing hypertension in adulthood. BP at rest and in response to challenges is higher in males than females, beginning in early adolescence. CYP17A1 is one of the well-established gene loci of adult hypertension. Here, we investigated whether this gene locus is associated with elevated BP at rest and in response to physical (active standing) and mental (math stress) challenges in adolescence. We studied 496 male and 532 female adolescents (age 12-18 years) who were recruited from a genetic founder population. Our results showed that the variant of CYP17A1 rs10786718 was associated with enhanced BP reactivity to the mental but not physical challenge and in males but not females. In males, BP increase in response to math stress was higher in major versus minor allele homozygotes by 7.6 mm Hg (P = 8.3 × 10(-6)). Resting BP was not associated with the CYP17A1 variant in either sex. These results suggest that, in adolescent males but not females, CYP17A1 enhances BP reactivity to mental stress. Whether this effect contributes to the higher prevalence of hypertension in males than females later in life remains to be determined.
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ABSTRACT: This paper provides an overview of the Saguenay Youth Study (SYS) and its parental arm. The overarching goal of this effort is to develop trans-generational models of developmental cascades contributing to the emergence of common chronic disorders, such as depression, addictions, dementia and cardio-metabolic diseases. Over the past 10 years, we have acquired detailed brain and cardio-metabolic phenotypes, and genome-wide genotypes, in 1029 adolescents recruited in a population with a known genetic founder effect. At present, we are extending this dataset to acquire comparable phenotypes and genotypes in the biological parents of these individuals. After providing conceptual background for this work (transactions across time, systems and organs), we describe briefly the tools employed in the adolescent arm of this cohort and highlight some of the initial accomplishments. We then outline in detail the phenotyping protocol used to acquire comparable data in the parents.Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 10/2014; 11. DOI:10.1016/j.dcn.2014.10.003 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prenatal exposure to maternal cigarette smoking (prenatal smoke exposure) had been associated with altered DNA methylation (DNAm) at birth.Environmental Health Perspectives 10/2014; DOI:10.1289/ehp.1408614 · 7.03 Impact Factor